Unemployment rate to remain at 3-4% level in 2024

By Anna Leah Gonzales

April 5, 2024, 6:10 pm

<p>Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort. (File photo)

MANILA – The country's unemployment rate will likely continue to remain at the 4-percent level in the coming months, an economist said on Friday.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort said so far, economic indicators as well as better corporate sales and earnings "still support decent employment data."

The Philippine Statistics Authority is scheduled to release the February 2024 labor force data next week.

As of January this year, the country's unemployment rate was at 4.5 percent.

Ricafort said Holy Week holiday-related spending also likely contributed to more employment.

"Holy Week holiday-related spending, considered the next biggest after the Christmas season, entailing more employment, would also be a factor toward March for employment and other economic data, " he said.

He said in the coming months, the unemployment rate is projected to remain at "3%-4% levels, still decent and among the lowest in about 18 years or since revised records started in 2005."

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) earlier vowed that the government will create a favorable business environment to attract both local and foreign investments in the country, aiming to generate more high-quality employment opportunities.

"The government sustains its push to attract more job-generating investments by creating an enabling policy and regulatory environment. At the same time, linkages between industry, the academe, and the public sector will be strengthened to address skill mismatches in the labor market,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Balisacan is banking on the Trabaho Para sa Bayan (TPB) Act to create more employment.

“Our next task is to develop the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Plan, which will serve as the country’s master plan for generating employment and creating high-quality jobs," he said.

The TPB Act mandates the creation of a master plan for national employment generation focused on increasing both the number and quality of employment opportunities in the country, as well as enhancing the employability of Filipinos. (PNA)