BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) revealed that more than seventy percent of Cordillerans are satisfied with their existing jobs amidst the increasing number of the region’s labor force due to the increasing number of graduates from various private and public education institutions annually.
Carmel E. Matabang, NEDA-CAR chief economic development specialist, said 93 percent of the region’s labor force are classified to be employed while the region’s unemployment rate is at 7 percent.
Of the employed members of the labor force, Matabang disclosed that 71 percent are satisfied with their current employment while 22 percent are classified to be under employed based on the parameters of of those who are considered to be employed.
Further, 44.6 percent of the region’s employed members of the labor force are in the agriculture sector, 26 percent are based in the services sector, 20 percent are employed in the industrial sector while the rest of the members of the labor force are employed in the other sectors of the region’s economic driver.
Aside from inquiring from those who are employed on their actual number of working hours in their workplaces, the NEDA-CAR official claimed one of the follow-up questions to those being interviewed is whether or not they are satisfied with their current jobs.
Matabang explained that those who provide answers that they work for at least 40 hours a week and that they are satisfied with the current status of their employment, the said workers are considered to be employed while workers who respond that they work for at least 40 hours a week but still want to work are classified to be under employed.
Aldrin Federico Bahit, Jr., chief of the statistical operations and coordination of the Cordillera office of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA-CAR), explained that while it is true that 44.6 percent of the members of the region’s labor force are employed in the agriculture sector, the contribution of the said sector to the region’s overall economy is only 8.8 percent but the services sector which contributes a lower percentage to the region’s employment rate contributes more to the region’s economy.
Bahit pointed out that the services sectors in the region continues to be on the rise and it is about to overtake the industry sector in terms of contribution to the region’s overall economy, thus, the need for potential investors to look into the bright prospects of the services sectors which is primarily triggered by the sustained tourism growth in the different parts of the region.
The PSA-CAR official claimed the region’s industry sector is anchored on the developments inside the Baguio-based Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) which is unpredictable depending on the exports of the locators within the zone while the agriculture sector is considered to be erratic although it provides sustainable employment to the people.
He predicted that the service sectors will be the region’s primary economic driver in the next several years once the local governments aggressively promotes the growth of their tourism industry coupled with the sufficient tourism-related investments around the region that can provide long-term employment and income not only to the people but also the local and national governments.