September 26, 2021 at 07:25 pm
Julito G. Rada
Companies plan to hire more workers in the fourth quarter and the next 12 months despite the lingering global health crisis, results of the Third-Quarter Business Expectations Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show.
The employment outlook index increased to 6.2 percent for the fourth quarter from 5 percent in the previous quarterly survey. It was also higher for the next 12 months at 24.3 percent, compared to 14.7 percent.
“The higher positive readings suggest that firms are looking forward to hiring more people for Q4 2021 and the next 12 months,” the BSP said.
The third-quarter 2021 Business Expectations Survey was conducted from July 22 to Sept. 15, 2021, with 1,511 firms participating. These included 584 companies in the National Capital Region and 927 firms in areas outside NCR, covering 16 regions nationwide.
Meanwhile, the percentage of businesses with expansion plans for the next quarter dropped to 9.6 percent from 21.1 percent in the second-quarter survey. For the next 12 months, those with expansion targets also declined to 27.3 percent from 27.8 percent in the previous survey.
The percentage of firms that expressed expansion plans for the next quarter decreased across all industry sub-sectors, except for the agriculture, fishery and forestry sub-sector.
For the next 12 months, more firms from the agriculture, fishery and forestry sub-sector expressed their plans to expand, but the percentage of firms from the manufacturing sub-sector remained relatively unchanged.
The percentage of firms with expansion plans in the mining and quarrying and electricity, gas and water sub-sectors decreased for the next 12 months.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said earlier that more than 3.8 million people dropped out of the labor force in July from the previous month, amid the continuing threat of COVID-19 and the emergence of more virulent strains.
It said the decrease in the labor force could be traced to the economy losing more than 3.4 million in employed persons.
Data showed that while the unemployment rate eased from 7.7 percent in June to 6.9 percent in July, the labor force participation rate in July also fell to 59.8 percent which was equivalent to 44.7 million Filipinos who were either employed or unemployed.
It was the lowest LFPR this year, compared to 60.5 percent in January and 63.2 percent in April. The July 2021 LFPR was also lower than 61.9 percent in July 2020.
Underemployed persons were estimated at 8.7 million in July or 20.9 percent of the 41.7 million employed individuals during the period. This was the highest underemployment rate since April 2020.