Women who are at the peak of childbearing age are likely to drop out from the labor force, according to a study commissioned by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
Neda said in the study “Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in the Philippines,” it includes women aged 25 to 29 years old.
The study also said with this, the gender gap in the labor force participation rate (LFPR) remains at 30 percent, the widest in the region.
“The results underline the need for policy reforms that would counter stereotyped gender norms and discrimination in the workplace, including an extended paternity leave and stronger enforcement of the Telecommuting Act,” Neda said in a news statement.
While the LFPR rate estimate does not include overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Neda said even if they are included, the LFPR will not improve by much.
The study stated that if the estimated 1.2 million female overseas workers in 2017 were added to both the working age population and the labor force, the LFPR of Filipino women in the overseas and domestic labor markets would reach 48 percent in 2017.
Data showed that currently, married men are more likely to participate in the labor force by 11 percentage points more compared to never married men and 5 percentage points more compared to men who are separated, annulled or widowed.
By comparison, currently married women have a lower likelihood to participate in the labor force by 12 percentage points relative to never married women and by 10 percentage points relative to women who are separate, annulled or widowed.
The presence of young children aged three years and below is also associated negatively with labor force participation for women and is not significantly related with men’s labor force participation.
Neda said there is a positive marginal effect of children in the school ages which may indicate the need for women to augment family income to defray for educational expenditures.
“While [a] high level of participation is largely maintained for the men until it declines in the age period toward compulsory retirement, the pattern for the women exhibits a decline in labor force participation rate in the peak childbearing period of 25 to 29 years old,” Neda said.
“This may indicate the higher likelihood of women to withdraw from the labor force for marriage, childbirth and child-rearing. The disruption in active economic participation during this phase of the life cycle is observed only for women and not for men,” it added.
In March, it was reported that nearly 11 million Filipinas have stopped looking for jobs in January as they were forced to just stay in the house and perform domestic duties, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
PSA Assistant National Statistician Wilma A. Guillen told the BusinessMirror that the there were a total of 28.87 million Filipinos who are not in the labor force in January 2019. This was a 7.64-percent increase from the NITLF of 26.82 million in January 2018.
Nearly 40 percent of the total or 10.569 million is composed of women who preferred to stay at home to attend to their duties to their families and own households. However, this was a 2.15 percent contraction from the 10.8 million posted in January 2018.
The total of those in the NITLF due to household or family duties reached 11.604 million, a 0.16-percent increase from the 11.585 million in January 2018. Only 1.034 million of these individuals were males, a 32.06-percent growth from the 783,000 recorded in January 2018.
Data also showed that some 10.119 million of the NITLF included those aged 15 and over who are not looking for work because of schooling. This was 9.22-percent growth from the 9.265 million recorded in January 2018.
Further, Guillen said, those aged 15 to 24 years old who were NITLF reached 9.875 million in January 2019, a 6.58-percent growth from 9.265M in January 2018.