More residents employed in Region 12 in 2014

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/22 December) — The number of employed residents in Region 12 has slightly increased this year as local industries continued with their expansions amid the area’s improving socio-economic condition.

Ofelia Domingo, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 12 director, said Monday the region’s employment rate increased to 96.8 percent as of the end of November, increasing by 0.7 percent or from 95.9 percent in 2013.

Citing results of the agency’s assessment, she said the increase in the employment rate is equivalent to around 42,000 additional workers.

The agency listed the region’s employed individuals at a total of 2,742,000 as of November, up from the 2,700,000 in 2013.

Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

With the increase in the area’s employment rate, Domingo said unemployment in the area further shrunk to 3.4 percent from 4.1 last year.

“We expect this positive trend to continue next year along with our improving regional economy,” she said.

A report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority-National Statistics Office (PSA-NSO) in Region 12, showed that the region’s employable population or residents who are considered as already in the working age of 15 years old was estimated at 2,734,000 as of January this year.

Such figure increased by 53,000 based on the 2,681,000 total employable population as of January 2013.

But the PSA-NSO report noted that the area’s labor force participation rate dropped to 65.39 percent when compared to the previous 65.98 percent.

Labor force participation rate is the proportion of the population aged 15 and older that is economically active or “all people who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specified period.”

The number of those who were “not in the labor force” increased to 34.61 percent from the previous 34.02 percent.

Domingo said the increase in the region’s employment rate could also be attributed to their aggressive employment facilitation activities this year.

She said they assisted a total of nearly 200,000 jobseekers as of last November 25 through 66 job fairs that they conducted.

The agency registered some 193,115 job applicants and referred 167,493 of them for various job placements locally and abroad, she said.

The official added that a total of 8,767 job applicants were hired-on-the-spot during the local job fairs. (MindaNews)