INFORMAL jobs that were considered of poor quality still account for the majority of employment in the Philippines, according to Ibon Foundation Inc.
Ibon said 73 percent of total employment covering 34.5 million workers were in private establishments and are considered irregular workers—as such, are deemed informally employed.
The local research group said informal work is made up of the self-employed, those employed in small family farms or businesses, domestic help, and unpaid family workers.
“The Marcos Jr administration should be less obsessed with constantly projecting a rosy picture of economic recovery and be more concerned with the harsh reality of poor-quality work, low incomes and high prices that millions of ordinary Filipinos are faced with,” Ibon said.
In January 2023, Ibon noted that 20 million or 42.2 percent of jobs were outright informal work as of January 2023. This is higher than the 16.8 percent in January 2020 or before the lockdowns were implemented.
“The government should unleash its considerable funds and resources to ensure immediate relief measures such as ayuda, wage subsidies and support to small businesses and producers. These can really help distressed Filipinos cope and bring about genuine and sustained recovery,” Ibon said.
Ibon expressed concern that informality in the economy may be worsening given the decline in the average hours worked in January 2023.
The research group said in terms of hours worked, the number of those working 40 hours fell by 1.8 million from 31.8 million in December 2022 to just 30 million in January 2023.
This decrease in full-time workers, Ibon said, meant that regular and secure work has become scarce. The number of part-time workers also fell slightly by 167,000 to 16.5 million.
Further, by class of worker, the number of wage and salary workers declined by 714,000 to 29.5 million from 30.2 million. Ibon said this is due to the drop in the number of those working in private establishments – a decline of 576,000 from 23.6 million to 23 million.
The number of self-employed also decreased by 746,000 to 12.8 million; unpaid family workers likewise dropped by 433,000 to 3.9 million.
“However, this mainly reflects the volatility of self-employment and informal work falling to joblessness; it is unlikely that they moved on to better work prospects considering the huge drop in full-time work,” Ibon said.
On Thursday, the number of underemployed persons reached 6.65 million in January 2023, an increase of 224,000 from the 6.43 million posted in January 2022. Full story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/03/09/employment-rises-by-4-09m-in-january-psa/
Based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, a total of 712,000 Filipinos were added to the ranks of the visibly underemployed, swelling the number to 4.581 million compared to January’s 3.869 million.
Compared to December 2022, the January data showed that the visibly underemployed increased by 608,000 from the 3.973 million visibly underemployed.
Filipinos who are visibly underemployed are those working less than 40 hours in a week and have expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional jobs.
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