by Harley F. Palangchao
Cordillera ’s employment rate was pegged at 95.6 percent equivalent to 765,000 employed persons as of January 2016, the Philippine Statistics Authority, reported.
PSA-CAR also reported the Cordillera has the highest labor force participation rate among all regions in the country with 67 percent. This means that from the 1.1 million total population of 15 years old and above, 800,000 of them are in the labor force.
The latest validated population of the Cordillera based on the 2015 census is 1,772,006.
Regions II, IV-B and IV-A came next with labor force participation rate of 65.9, 65.6 and 65.1 percent, respectively.
On employment, PSA reported that of the 765,000 employed persons in the region, 59.9 percent are males while 40.1 percent are females. Records show a slight increase in employed males while there was also a slight decrease in employed females.
The agriculture and forestry sectors have the most number of employed persons in the region with 336,000 followed by the wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles with 95,000.
While the agriculture sector has the most number of employed persons, statistics from the National Economic and Development Authority show that the sector is lagging behind in achieving inclusive growth that benefits both the region’s economy and people dependent on it.
NEDA and the Cordillera Regional Development Council have reported that the industry sector, which covers the Philippine Export Zone Authority in Baguio, remains to be the driving force of the region’s economy but only a few are employed compared to the agriculture sector.
Based on the PSA record, manufacturing and professional scientific and technical activities that make up the industry sector have 20,000 employees combined.
The other sectors with high employment are public administration and defense and compulsory social security; transportation and storage; accommodation and food services; education, administrative and support services; mining and quarrying and human health and social work activities.
The sectors with less than 10,000 employed persons are the financial and insurance services; information and communication; art entertainment and recreation; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply; water, sewerage waste management, and remediation activities; fishing and aquaculture and real estate activities.
From the region’s labor force, 32,000 are unemployed mostly male.
The underemployment rate in the region was also pegged at 24 percent while the visible underemployment was 10.8 percent.
Underemployment means lack of time of work from the regular eight hours a day while visible underemployment are those who work for less than 40 hours in a week.