By SHERWIN DE VERA
BAGUIO CITY — Government figures are showing double whammy for Ilocos region’s economy despite its reported 5.8 percent growth last year. Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority put Region 1 as the top in terms of unemployment and inflation in the country and North of Metro Manila respectively.
The region’s 8.2 percent unemployment rate is the highest among the 17 regions (Regions IV-A & IV-B taken separately) based on the result of the October 2017 Labor Force Survey released last month.
Employed under elementary occupations comprised the majority at 30.6 percent. Jobs under this occupation group are defined by the International Labor Organization and under the Philippine Standard Occupational Classification as those “involve the performance of simple and routine tasks which may require the use of handheld tools and considerable physical effort.”
Service and sales workers, and those holding managerial positions completed the top three occupations with 15.3% and 15.2% respectively. Skilled agricultural, forestry and fishing workers suffered a significant drop from 17.1% in 2016, second among occupation groups in that year, to 12.7% during the surveyed period.
Despite maintaining the second place in terms of industry group employment, agriculture sector to suffer a 7.5 percent decrease from the prior year’s 33.6% contribution. While the service sector increased by 4.4 percent and the industry sector with 2.5 percent.
On the other hand, Region 2 topped the country’s employment with 97.9% while the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), with 96.3% shared the third spot with Eastern Vasayas and Caraga regions.
Meanwhile, the 5.7 percent June inflation, higher by 0.9 percent compared to May, compounds joblessness in the region. The figure is higher by 2.7, 1.8 and 0.8 compared to Regions 3, 2 and Cordillera respectively; and the second highest, next to Bicol region with 6.9 percent, in the entire Luzon.
Ilocos topped the increase for the following commodities: food and non-alcoholic beverages (5.4); housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels (6.8); and health (3.0). Highest increased inflation in the transport sector is 10.2 percent in Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon for education at 5.6 percent.
The country’s 5.2% inflation for June is above the forecasted figure by state economists from the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Department of Finance.# nordis.net