Other regions will have to grow faster if they want to create more job opportunities and direct investors’ attention away from Metro Manila, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
However, Neda Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon told the BusinessMirror that it may take some time before other regions would become more attractive to investors. Currently, the National Capital Region (NCR) still accounts for a third of the
Nonetheless, if it happens, Edillon said this will also increase wages not only in Metro Manila but also in other regions where workers are needed.
“We do not yet see it happening, at least not in a big way. But this will happen if there is faster growth in areas outside NCR. This is the sort of development that will lead to increase in wages, both in NCR and the ‘new’ host region,” Edillon told this newspaper.
Based on the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Metro Manila recorded the highest unemployment rate nationwide at 5.4 percent.
There were a total of 347,000 workers who were jobless in NCR in October 2023. This was higher than the 346,000 in October 2022 and the 305,000 in July 2023.
PSA data showed the unemployment rate in NCR was higher than the national average of 4.2 percent. The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in Davao region at 2.9 percent
The data also showed the lowest employment rate was NCR at 94.6 percent while the highest employment rate was in Davao Region at 97.1 percent. The national average was pegged at 95.8 percent.
“In terms of number of employed, it actually went up by 216,000; though the number of unemployed went up by 1,000 persons. The latter, however, is no cause for concern,” Edillon said.
“We would rather have a situation where it is the regions outside NCR that is pulling in labor from NCR, rather than NCR pushing away labor,” she added.
Meanwhile, in NCR, of the 5.857 million who are employed, PSA data showed 3.689 million are working 40 or more hours a week and 861,000 worked for less than 40 hours a week.
Among those who worked for 40 or more hours a week, the PSA noted that 727,000 had said they wanted to earn more and 559,000 said their job required it.
Among those who worked less than 40 hours a week, the data showed 470,000 said they were employed in companies with variable working time or it was the nature of their job.
Some 98,000 workers said the company they worked for saw reduced number of clients leading to less hours of work for them while 92,000 said “poor business conditions” led to reduced hours of work.
Last week, the Philippines recorded a new unemployment low as the country’s jobless rate hit 4.2 percent in October 2023, according to data released by Neda.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Neda said in a statement that the jobless rate was lower than the 4.5 percent posted in October 2022, which was initially declared as the lowest unemployment rate in two decades.
In terms of magnitude, PSA data showed there were 2.09 million unemployed individuals in October 2023, or lower than the 2.24 million recorded in October 2022 and the 2.27 million in July 2023.
The PSA data also showed that the underemployment rate in October 2023 was 11.7 percent, lower than the 14.2 percent recorded in October 2022 and the 15.9 percent posted in July 2023.
The data also showed the labor market recorded an employment rate of 95.8 percent in October 2023, higher than the 95.5 rate posted in the same period last year and the highest since April 2005.