The continued reopening of the economy, along with the enactment and amendments of laws supporting businesses and employment, are expected to boost the domestic economy’s recovery.
In an economic bulletin issued on Wednesday, the Department of Finance (DOF) cited the creation of around 797,000 jobs in December 2021 following the easing of movement restrictions against Covid-19 as the number of infections declined.
Citing preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the bulletin said the bulk of the additional jobs in the last month of last year was accounted for by the agriculture and the industry sectors.
About 673,000 jobs were added to the agriculture sector while 326,000 to the industry sector.
These numbers countered the 202,000 declines in the number of jobs in the services sector, it added.
Other sectors that posted improvements are manufacturing, which shared in 325,000 jobs; hotels and restaurants, 1,542 jobs; and transportation, 146,000 jobs.
The bulletin said easing of movement restrictions allowed the hotels and restaurants sub-sector, among others, to register “its highest pandemic-era figure” on additional jobs last December.
Labor force participation rate increased to 65.09 percent last December, the highest during the pandemic, it said.
While more people landed jobs last December, the bulletin said those who are unemployed increased by 113,000 “as the easing of quarantine restrictions encouraged more job seekers.”
“Consequently, the employment rate slightly declined from 93.50 percent in November to 93.40 percent in December while the unemployment rate inched up from 6.50 percent to 6.60 percent over the same period,” it said.
With these developments, the economic bulletin said continued inoculation of the population against Covid-19 “will help the country live with the virus.”
“As always, the country needs to stay alert and not let its guard down as the virus continues to mutate,” it added.
For the medium to long-term, it said signing into law of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which economic managers deemed as the biggest stimulus program of the government to address the impact of the pandemic, is a “bi
Other measures seen to further increase investments into the country, as well as create more jobs, include the amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA).
“The recent signing into law of the amendments to the RTLA is a welcome development towards faster economic recovery and, ultimately, better employment opportunities,” it added.