ARMM posts highest employment rate in January

File photo of the ARMM compound in Cotabato City. MindaNews photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 June) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) posted an employment rate of 97.4 percent in January 2018, the highest among 17 regions in the country, a report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on June 14 showed.

The region, consisting of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi, even outgrew its employment figure at 95.7 in January 2017.

A five-month siege last year between government forces and Islamic State-inspired in Marawi destroyed the country’s lone Islamic City.

The other regions of Mindanao also performed well, with employment figures above the national average of 94.7 percent.

The five-province Northern Mindanao (Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental) recorded the second highest employment rate at 97 percent, which increased from 94.5 percent in January 2017.

The region has eight cities namely, Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog and El Salvador in Misamis Oriental, Malaybalay in Bukidnon, Ozamiz, Tangub and Oroquieta in Misamis Occidental, and Iligan in Lanao del Norte.

According to the PSA report, Zamboanga Peninsula’s employment rate was at 96.6 percent; Soccsksargen, 96.2 percent; Caraga, 96; and Davao Region, 95.3 percent.

However, the report said that the ARMM was the least in terms of labor force participation rate (LFPR) at 46.1 percent.

This is far lower compared to the national average of 62.2 percent, indicating that six in 10 of the population aged 15 years and over were either employed or unemployed, the report said.

It added that the country’s total population aged 15 years and over was estimated at 70.9 million of which 44.1 million were in the labor force in January 2018.

It said Northern Mindanao had the highest reported LFPR with 72 percent.

At least 61.7 percent of the estimated 41.8 million employed persons in January 2018 were males while 38.3 percent were females, it said.

“The largest number of employed persons were in the age group 25 to 34 years with 26.6 percent of the total employed.  The 35 to 44 age group comprised the second largest group (22.9 percent), while the 45 to 54 age group made up the third largest group (18.4 percent),” it said.

The PSA reported that workers in the services sector comprised 55.9 percent of the total employed population in January 2018, higher compared to the industry sector’s 18.1 percent and agriculture’s 26 percent.

The report showed that among the various occupation groups, workers in “elementary occupations” made up the largest percentage of the employed population in January 2017 and January 2018, with 25.4 percent and 27.6 percent, respectively; managers were the second largest group of workers with 16.8 percent in January 2017 and 16.2 percent in January 2018;  service  and  sales  workers came  in  third  with  15.4  percent  in  January  2017  and 14.7 percent in January 2018; and skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers were accounted at 13.4 percent in January 2017, and 13.1 percent in January 2018. (Antonio L. Colina/MindaNews)