Research Reports –
New study describes low labor participation rates of Pinays

Women in the Philippines are more likely to withdraw from the labor force in their peak childbearing age of 25 to 29 years old, a new study commissioned by the National Economic and Development Authority showed.

The results underline the need for policy reforms that would counter stereotyped gender norms and discrimination in the workplace, including extended paternity leave and stronger enforcement of the Telecommuting Act.

The results of the study, titled “Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in the Philippines,” were first released this week in step with the annual National Convention on Statistics held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas.

The study used the 2015 merged data sets of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey and the Labor Survey, generating a total sample of 63,327 males and 61,387 females aged between 15 and 65 years old.

It also employed a qualitative survey, holding focus group discussions with women groups, government officials, an Islamic religious leader and human resource managers from the private sector.

NEDA commissioned the study as the agency moved to identify the factors that determine a woman’s decision to join the labor force amid concerns over the stagnant labor force participation rate of Filipino women. The rate had stayed within a 49 to 50 percent range in the past two decades, and in 2018 — at 46 percent — was the lowest in Southeast Asia.

Apart from age, the study found culture – reflected in the patriarchal family structure, stereotyped gender roles, and religion – also affecting female labor participation rate.

The high cost of commuting reduces take-home pay and the heavy traffic lessens the time available for family/home care and as a result, the utility of working is reduced.

The study’s key findings and the corresponding policy recommendations are the following:

  • Marriage and childbearing are associated with a significant decline in the female labor force participation, especially for the 25 to 29-year-old cohort. More patriarchal family structures reduce a woman’s employment rate by 8 to 13 percentage points. A review of educational learning materials and storybooks in early childhood to promote gender equality is recommended. Extended paternity leave and additional parental leave will give husbands a fair share of caring for their babies. Stronger implementation of laws governing access to childcare services in government and support for bills requiring daycare facilities in the private sector will be needed.
  • Narratives indicate the desire of mothers with young children to engage in telecommuting work. The study cites the need to strengthen the enforcement of Republic Act 11165, or the Telecommuting Act, which allows employers to offer staff the choice to work from an alternative workplace.
  • Labor force participation rates of women are consistently lower than those of men across all levels of education. The effect of tertiary education on increasing labor force participation is significantly stronger for women than for men. The attainment of a secondary or higher level of education does not increase the labor force participation of men. This highlights the importance of investing in the education of women toward the attainment of a college diploma.
  • Protestants and other religious affiliations are the most likely to be employed, while Muslims are the least likely to be economically active. The study recommends countering discrimination in the workplace.
  • Data revealed a higher absorptive capacity of women workers by the services and manufacturing sectors, while it found a disproportionate representation of women in industries that require more cognitive skills than physical strength. There is a need to spur investments in both the manufacturing and services sectors, and to eliminate barriers to women’s participation in their preferred occupation.

(Source: National Economic and Development Authority)

UNESCO report recognizes PH proactive policies for OFWs

The Philippine government’s proactive policies for training and education of Overseas Filipino Workers was recognized in the latest 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

While the comprehensive 2019 GEM report summarizes, covering most of 195 countries in the world, that there is insufficient progress on including migrants and refugees in national education systems, the Philippines was highlighted showing how the country recognized the skills of migrants abroad and developed policies for both overseas workers and returnees.

GEM Report Director Manos Antoninis told the Philippine News Agency the report recognizes the Philippine government efforts “to prepare migrants before going to countries abroad.”

The Philippine government also engaged different countries towards recognizing the skills of OFWs, Antoninis said

“Some countries, especially in Asia, are seeing more citizens return with valuable skills. The Philippines has instated policies for returnees and linked them to recognition services and prospective employers,” the 2019 GEM Report stated.

The Philippine government’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provided combined job-related and pre-departure vocational training programs for OFWs more intensive compared to other countries in the world.

The the GEM Report is an editorially independent, authoritative and evidence-based annual report published by UNESCO. It draws on the latest available data and evidence, and commissions extensive research from leading experts around the world.

PH employment index Q1 2018 registers 14% growth

The latest Southeast Asia Online Recruitment Trends Report by revealed that overall job market activity in the Philippines was positive throughout 2017 while a positive outlook on online hiring for the remainder of 2018 is maintained.

The said report gives an overview of the online recruitment landscape, market challenges, opportunities, hiring trends, and issues that matter most to talent leaders across Southeast Asia. The reports also include data points on recruitment activities in Philippines for Q1 2018.

The report said competition for technology talent in the country is expected to intensify this year.

The Monster Employment Index (MEI) in the Philippines registered a 14% growth in March year-on-year, with retail showing the steepest climb in terms of annual growth among all sectors. The MEI Philippines registered strong annual growth of 17% in February 2018.

Among job roles, HR and Admin professionals recorded the highest growth in demand year-on-year. The Philippines recorded an 18% year-on-year increase for the sector in January. February saw a 29% increase, while March soared by 30%. The demand in the first quarter is a continuation of the upward trend seen over the past six months, which accumulates to a 39% increase for that period, and a 34% increase for the first quarter of 2018.

The demand for talent in the Filipino banking and financial services sector is reflected in an increased online hiring activity across the industry. Within the first quarter of 2018, the MEI recorded an overall 19% increase, as well as a continued annual growth for January, February and March with 10%, 14% and 14% respectively.

The spike in hiring activity at the start of 2018 comes as no surprise for the Philippines, given its overall positive hiring trend earlier in 2017, driven partly by positive investor outlook on the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals. Job-generating foreign direct investments (FDI), a key economic driver for the Philippines, also witnessed strong growth in January.

As per a recent study by Microsoft and IDC Asia/Pacific, the Philippines is also expected to witness an increase in its GDP by $8 billion, owing to the expansion of digital transformation. This will likely boost job creation, salaries and training opportunities, pointing towards an even more promising hiring growth prospects ahead.

For more than 20 years, Monster has been a leading online career and recruitment resource, and with its cutting-edge technology it provides relevant profiles to employers and relevant jobs to jobseekers across industry verticals, experience levels and geographies. Monster today has more than 200 million people registered on the Monster Worldwide network, and with operations in more than 40 countries, provides the widest and most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management capabilities.

PH unemployment rate decreases

The recent unemployment rate survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed improvement from 5.7 percent in April 2017 to 5.5 percent in April 2018.

The employment rate likewise improved with estimated 94.5 percent in April 2018 as compared to 94.3 percent in April 2017.

In the PSA report, workers were grouped into three broad sectors, namely, agriculture, industry and services sector. Workers in the services sector comprised the largest proportion of the population who are employed. These workers made up 56.4 percent of the total employed in April 2018.

Those engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for the largest percentage (34.3%) of workers in the services sector.

In April 2017, workers in the services sector accounted for 55.4 percent of the total employed, with those engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles making up the largest proportion (35.3%) of workers.

Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group making up 23.9 percent of the total employed in April 2018, while workers in the industry sector made up the smallest group registering 19.7 percent of the total employed.

In April 2017, workers in agriculture accounted for 26.1 percent of the total employed; while workers in the industry sector, 18.5 percent. The April 2018 LFS results also showed that in the industry sector, workers in the construction and manufacturing subsectors made up the largest groups, accounting for 49.9 percent and 45.3 percent of the workers in these subsectors, respectively (Tables 1 and 2).

Among the occupation groups, workers in elementary occupations remained the largest group making up 26.6 percent of the total employed in April 2018.

In April 2017, such workers made up 26.8 percent of the total employed in that period. Managers comprised the second largest occupation group (16.0%), followed by service and sales workers (14.8%), and skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers (12.5%) in April 2018.

Among the regions, Ilocos Region (7.3%), CALABARZON (6.6%), and NCR (6.4%) were the regions with the highest unemployment rates.

Among the unemployed persons in April 2018, 62.7 percent were males. Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 45.8 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 30.2 percent.

By educational attainment, 19.6 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 16.2 percent were college undergraduates, and 28.9 percent have completed junior high school. Graduates of junior high school includes those high school graduates in the old curriculum.

2017 SWS Survey: Fewer Pinoy families considered themselves ‘poor’

A recent Social Weather Stations survey show one out of three Filipino families surmounted poverty in 2017.

The figure is the highest rate of newly non-poor families since it was first conducted in December 2014. This SWS Survey was conducted from December 08-16, 2017 and released in January 2018 reveal 56 percent of families rated themselves as non-poor families.

Out of self-rated non-poor families, 31 percent of the respondents transitioned out of poverty. 17 percent (usually non-poor) used to be poor five or more years ago and 14 percent (newly non-poor) used to be poor 1-4 years ago. Twenty-five percent of the respondents said they have never experienced poverty (always non-poor).

On the other hand, one out of eight Filipino families fell into poverty in the last quarter of 2017 as shown by the SWS poll. The survey found that 44 percent of families rated themselves as poor. Thirty-one percent were always poor while 12.4 percent transitioned into poverty.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted to 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide to create the poll. The SWS said that they have sampling error margins of ±2.5% nationwide and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.