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The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) conducted the Technical Forum on Philippine Employment Projections Model (PEPM) on September 30, 2015, in culmination of the joint initiative by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to establish growth forecasts on employment-related indicators over the period 2016-2022.

The technical forum served as an opportunity to gather government, industry and academic stakeholders to provide critical inputs to the 2015 model and its initial results, after it had been updated and expanded from the pilot version in 2010 in partnership with the ILO Country Office in Manila.

Through this forum, we intend to promote the utility of the model in aid of policymaking and budget formulation, to obtain stakeholder support and contribution, and to highlight the importance of institutionalizing employment projections and forecasting for development planning, said DOLE Assistant Secretary Katherine Brimon in her opening remarks.


Economic growth, employment creation to slow down

In her presentation on the results of the PEPM 2015, ILS OIC Executive Director Mary Grace Riguer said that the economic growth over the forecast period will slow down, swinging between 6.0% and 6.5%.

Between 2013-2022, the model projects a strong, though slower growth in GDP [Gross Domestic Product] than in previous years, at 6.0%-6.5%. Much of this will be caused by a slowdown in private consumption, investment and exports that partly make up GDP, said OIC-Exec. Dir. Riguer.

This anticipated lag in the performance of the economy will also likely result in only modest aggregate employment creation, projected to grow by 1.9%-2.0% over the forecast period, she added.

By sectoral distribution, employment growth rates are projected in aerospace manufacturing, automotive and automotive parts manufacturing, pulp and paper, chemicals and chemical products, and plastic manufacturing industries.


Unemployment, vulnerability to remain key challenges; innovative research needed

While employment growth rates will remain relatively strong from 2013 to 2022, the PEPM 2015 results also pointed to slight increases in negative employment indicators such as unemployment and vulnerable employment. Classified under vulnerable employment are those unpaid family and own-account workers, mostly concentrated in low-income rural provinces.

Unemployment is seen to grow by 0.5%-1.2% while vulnerable employment will likely increase by 1.4%-1.5% over the period 2016-2022.

Multifaceted problems require multifaceted solutions. There is no single correct way to remedy long-standing and perplexing labor and employment issues. The government needs to continue looking for solutions, to find converging points at which to sustainably improve the labor conditions in the country. In ILS, we stand to contribute to realize that vision through innovative research, said OIC Exec. Dir. Riguer.

The PEPM 2015 results, which will still be subject to consultations through subsequent workshops with government agencies, social partners and industry associations, will serve as inputs to the formulation of the National Human Resource Strategic Planning to be led by DOLE as a complement to the effort of the Department of Trade and Industry in formulating the Comprehensive National Industry Strategy. The results will also be used in shaping the next national employment planning cycle for 2016.


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