Bragging rights for 1 million jobs in 2007?

 At the opening session of the Philippine Development Forum in Clark, Pampanga last 26 March 2008, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo happily told the real story for 2008.  By Ms Arroyo’s account, her administration created a million jobs, among others.  Let us take a look at the results of the January 2008 Labor Force Survey conducted by the National Statistics Office.

1.  (Half) True enough, the labor force statistics showed that during the 1st and 2nd quarter in 2007, employment had increased by at least a million.

Table 1.  Employed Persons. January 2006 –

EMPLOYED PERSONS

In 000

Difference

2006

January

32031

April

32699

July

32926

October

32886

2007

January

33545

1514

April

33706

1007

July

33334

408

October

33671

785

2008

January

33695

150

What could have brought these significant increases?  I think the administration could not attribute this to the product of sound development policies, unless allowing the elections to proceed last May could qualify as one.  Yes, I would explain the increases as a result of (heavy) pump-priming and grassroots campaigning for the May 2007 elections.

2.  But for January 2008, there was only an increase of 150 thousand employed persons, compared to 1.5 million in January 2007.  Just a shadowy 10 percent of the gain in January 2007.

Table 2a.  Industry Breakdown of the Employed

EMPLOYED PERSONS

AGRICULTURE

 

INDUSTRY

 

In 000

Diff

In 000

Diff

% share

In 000

Diff

% share

2006

 

2006

 

2006

 

January

32031

11691

36.5

4869

15.2

April

32699

11281

34.5

5232

16.0

July

32926

11722

35.6

5005

15.2

October

32886

12036

36.6

4900

14.9

2007

 

2007

 

 

2007

 

 

January

33545

1514

11640

-51

34.7

4977

108

14.8

April

33706

1007

11865

584

35.2

5258

26

15.6

July

33334

408

11500

-222

34.5

5200

195

15.6

October

33671

785

12155

119

36.1

5084

184

15.1

2008

2008

 

 

2008

 

 

January

33695

150

11796

156

35.0

4981

4

14.8

Table 2b.  Industry Breakdown of the Employed

EMPLOYED PERSONS

SERVICES

 

In 000

Diff

In 000

Diff

% share

2006

 

2006

January

32031

15471

48.3

April

32699

16186

49.5

July

32926

16200

49.2

October

32886

15917

48.4

2007

 

2007

January

33545

1514

16928

1457

50.5

April

33706

1007

16617

431

49.3

July

33334

408

16634

434

49.9

October

33671

785

16431

514

48.8

2008

2008

January

33695

150

16918

-10

50.2

3.  In 2007, the increase in employment could be traced to the services sector.  While the economic managers would perceive these to be (Ayala-Ortigas) Avenue jobs, my sense would be that many of these would be in the mold of the informal sector.

 In January 2007, these were due to wholesale and retail trade, and private households with employed persons. 

In April 2007, these were due to real estate, renting and business support activities; and private households with employed persons.

In July 2007, these were due to transport, storage and communications; and educational services.

In October 2007, these were due to transport, storage and communications; private households with employed persons; and real estate, renting and business activities.

So in 2007, the increases were, in layman’s language, sari-sari stores, and bagsakan (wholesale and retail trade); namamasukan, katulong, labandera, stay-out/stay-in (private households with employed persons); call centers (real estate, renting and business support activities); teachers (educational services); and tri-sikad, padyak-cycle, colorum, FX (transport, storage and communications).  I went over the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) in determining this.  The ISIC can be found at the website of the United Nations Statistics Division.  Of course, there could also have been the corporate contributions to the gains in agricultural and services (both predominantly non-corporate) employment.  

4.  In January 2008, it was Agriculture that was the source of growth.  Interestingly much of the decline in Services was due to the decrease in private households with employed persons.  Could some of the households no longer afford household help?

And Industry, which is regarded to provide sustainable, stable employment, has been consistent with its 15 percent share (only) of the employed over the years. 

5.  Now, for some mind-benders from the website of the National Statistics Office of the Philippines (http://www.census.gov.ph/).  The following are excerpts from the Technical Notes of its quarterly Labor Force Survey: 

2.5.6 Determination of Employment Status. The employment status of persons 15 years and over is determined on the basis of answers to a series of inter-related questions which are described below:

a. Did ____ do any work at all even for only one hour during the past week? This question is asked to identify the employed persons.  Work at all? For purposes of this survey means that a person reported to his place of work and performed his duties/activities for at least one hour during the reference week.  [May I add that this line of questioning in my opinion seeks more to investigate the presence of underemployment rather than to come up with a higher estimate of employment.]  If a person reported that he did some work, not counting chores around the house, he is still considered in the employed category although most of his time was devoted to household chores.  All persons not identified by the above question as employed are asked the following questions.

b. Although _____ did not work, did —– have a job or business during the past week?  Some persons may not have work at all during the past week but may actually have jobs or businesses which they are temporarily not reporting to, as in the following cases: an employee on strike; a person temporarily laid off due to non-economic reasons like machine breakdown; a person with a new job to begin within two weeks from the date of interview; regular and temporary teachers, excluding substitutes, during summer vacation who still receive pay and who expect to go back to their jobs in the next school year.  These persons are considered employed even though they are not actually at work.

6.  Note that in Table 3 at least one-third work for less than 40 hours a week.  Yes, the 1 million jobs generated in 2007 were about 60 percent full-time employment.  Forty (40) percent worked less than 40 hours a week.

In January 2008, the number of those employed who worked for 40 hours or more increased by 330 thousand, less than 25 percent of the gain (of 1.2 million workers) last year.

Table 3a.  Breakdown of Employed Persons, by Hours of Work

EMPLOYED PERSONS

Less than 40 hours

In 000

Diff

In 000

Diff

% share

2006

2006

January

32031

11755

36.7

April

32699

13341

40.8

July

32926

11722

35.6

October

32886

12036

36.6

2007

2007

January

33545

1514

12047

292

35.9

April

33706

1007

14089

748

41.8

July

33334

408

11067

-655

33.2

October

33671

785

11819

-217

35.1

2008

2008

January

33695

150

11879

-168

35.3

Table 3b.  Breakdown of Employed Persons, by Hours of Work

EMPLOYED PERSONS

40 hours & over

In 000

Diff

In 000

Diff

% share

2006

2006

January

32031

19859

62.0

April

32699

18606

56.9

July

32926

20809

63.2

October

32886

20389

62.0

2007

2007

January

33545

1514

21076

1217

62.8

April

33706

1007

18707

101

55.5

July

33334

408

22034

1225

66.1

October

33671

785

21583

-217

64.1

2008

2008

January

33695

150

21406

330

63.5

But in Table 4, this increase in January 2008 full-time employment was not among the wage and salary workers, but in the less stable categories of the own-account and unpaid family workers.  There were half a million less wage and salary workers from January 2007

Table 4a.  Employed Persons, by Class of Worker 

EMPLOYED PERSONS

Wage & Salary

Own Account

In 000

Diff

In 000

Diff  % share

In 000

Diff  % share

2006

 

2006

 

 

2006

 

 

January

32031

16080

50.2

11916

37.2

April

32699

16546

50.6

12262

37.5

July

32926

17418

52.9

11722

35.6

October

32886

16640

50.6

11938

36.3

2007

2007

 

 

2007

 

 

January

33545

1514

17910

1830

53.4

11765

-151

35.1

April

33706

1007

17224

678

51.1

12067

-195

35.8

July

33334

408

17700

282

53.1

11867

145

35.6

October

33671

785

17206

566

51.1

12290

352

36.5

2008

2008

 

 

2008

 

 

January

33695

150

17422

-488

51.7

12162

397

36.1

Table 4b.  Employed Persons, by Class of Worker 

EMPLOYED PERSONS

Unpaid Family Workers

In 000

Diff

In 000

Diff  % share

2006

 

2006

January

32031

4036

12.6

April

32699

3891

11.9

July

32926

3786

11.5

October

32886

4308

13.1

2007

2007

January

33545

1514

3870

-166

11.5

April

33706

1007

4415

524

13.1

July

33334

408

3733

-53

11.2

October

33671

785

4175

-133

12.4

2008

2008

January

33695

150

4112

242

12.2

7.  It appears unlikely that another million jobs will be created in 2008.  I would be happy to be proven wrong.

As for the million jobs, the above is reality.  Since her claim is half true, she does not have full bragging rights.

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