GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 March) – Region 12 posted a 97.7% employment rate in 2015, the highest not only among regions in Mindanao but in the entire country, Ofelia Domingo, regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
Unemployment rate in Region 12 dropped to 2.3% last year, the lowest in the entire Mindanao during the period, according to Domingo.
She said the number of employed persons in the region surged to 2.74 million or 97.7% last year, from 2,687,000 or 97.1.% in 2014, while the number of unemployed persons in the region decreased to 67,000 at the end of 2015 or 13,000 less than the previous year’s 80,000.
“This is the first time for our unemployment rate to drop to this level and we’re continually working to sustain this record,” Domingo said in a press conference.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato City.
Domingo attributes the improvement in employment rate to an “improving economy and convergence of government and private sector.”
The region’s employable population or residents considered at working age of 15 years and above is currently estimated at 2,809,000 up from 2,758,000 in 2014, Domingo said.
The report released by DOLE 12 showed that the region’s underemployment or the percentage of underemployed to the total employed, also declined to 18.6 per cent last year from 2014’s 21.8%.
The figure is equivalent to 510,000 underemployed compared with 584,000 in 2014.
But the report noted that the region’s labor force participation rate dropped to 63.8% compared to the previous year’s 65%
Labor force participation rate is the proportion of population aged 15 and older that are economically active or “all people who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specificed period.”
Domingo said that in terms of unemployment rate, Region 12’s 2.3 per cent is the lowest among Mindanao’s six regions in 2015.
He said it is also very much lower than the national average of 6.6% recorded by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Region 9 or Zamboanga Peninsula posted an unemployment rate of 2.5%; ARMM 2.7, Region 10 5.2% Region 11, 6% and Caraga 6.5%.
Region 12’s 97.7% employment rate, is the highest not only in Mindanao but in the entire country, according to Domingo. She said Region 9 recorded 97.5% while Region 2 or Cagayan Valley posted 97.4% . The country’s employment rate in 2015 was 93.4%. (MindaNews)