February 19, 2012
Job plan of govt up for Senate review
Sen. Ralph G. Recto yesterday said there seems to be a growing disconnect between the government's jobs generation plan vis-à-vis the actual number of people out of jobs and those who have found jobs but are hardly surviving from their meager income.
"The country has a growing labor force that has no jobs available for them. There must be general plan to connect the growth in labor to the availability of jobs," Recto said.
Recto noted that the country's labor force grew by 4.8% or 1.902 million more from 39.287 million in October 2010 to 41.189 million in the same month in 2011.
But he said as the country's army of able bodied workers grew, the rate of unemployment likewise remained the highest in the region despite its decline from 7.1 percent in October 2010 to 6.4 percent in October 2011.
In actual terms, the number of underemployed persons increased by 239,000 from 7.141 million in October 2010 to 7.380 million in October 2011.
The senator also said 50 percent of the unemployed are young people, aged 15-24 years old.
Recto said the number of unemployed is expected to balloon some more from the already 564,000 college graduates still looking for work as of January 2011 and with an estimated avalanche of 700,000 fresh graduates this March that have no clear job prospects.
"We need to know where the government's job plan is going and let Congress put in the legislative man-hours to craft or amend relevant laws," he said, adding that government has yet to announce its own jobs target for the next three years.
Recto has a pending bill which grants business owners tax discounts and other regulatory perks in exchange for hiring additional workers.
Recto, through a Senate Resolution, has called on the Senate through its committees on economic affairs and on labor, employment and human resource development to look into the job generation program of the government and see if it was producing results.
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