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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Fewer companies plan to hire workers in fourth quarter—BSP survey

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Fewer companies are planning to hire more workers in the fourth quarter because of higher inflation, rising oil prices and peso depreciation, results of the third-quarter Business Expectations Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show.

The employment outlook index for the fourth quarter declined to 22.7 percent from 25.4 percent in the previous survey results.

Employment outlook for the next 12 months was steady at 30 percent.

“The lower reading in Q3 2022 suggests that hiring intentions may turn less favorable for the next quarter, while employment prospects for the next 12 months remain optimistic,” it said.

Data showed that the percentage of businesses in the industry sector with expansion plans for the fourth quarter increased to 23.4 percent from 17.9 percent in the previous survey.

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Meanwhile, the percentage of industry firms with expansion plans for the next 12 months decreased to 23.2 percent from 24.4 percent.

The same survey showed that the business sentiment weakened in the third quarter as the overall confidence index declined to 26.1 percent from 35.4 percent in the second quarter.

The respondents’ less optimistic sentiment in the third quarter was attributed to higher inflation, rising fuel prices, decline in sales and demand, peso depreciation and the continuing public health threat of the pandemic.

It said that for the next quarter, the business sentiment weakened for the second consecutive quarter as the overall confidence index decreased to 43.9 percent from 46.4 percent a quarter ago.

The survey said that for the next 12 months, the business sentiment also declined as the overall confidence index decreased to 57.7 percent from the previous quarter’s survey result of 59.9 percent.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the country’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent in July, the lowest this year and the lowest of all July rounds since 2005.

This happened as the number of unemployed individuals declined to 2.60 million in July from 3.23 million a year ago. In June 2022, the number of unemployed individuals was estimated at 2.99 million.

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