Press Releases

Statement on the November 2022 Employment Figures – Salceda: Manufacturing jobs gains “unmistakable sign” of economic momentum; protect fishing jobs with investments in aquaculture

January 6th, 2023

January 6, 2023

The November 2022 employment figures demonstrate very strong economic momentum, especially when viewed from a month-on-month perspective. We gained 2.6 million new jobs from October to November 2022, which is 61% of the year-on-year jobs gains of 4.23 million new jobs. 

That is in significant part due to the decision to resume face-to-face activities, especially class instruction. Consumer spending towards the year-end also helped create new jobs. Most year-end bonuses should have been given around this month. This is especially the case for employees in the public sector.

I am particularly encouraged by jobs growth in manufacturing, with a YOY increase of 980 thousand jobs, 683 thousand of which was gained MOM. Manufacturing jobs are generally more durable than retail jobs, although the sector gained 1.3 million jobs YOY and 928 thousand jobs over the past month. 

Manufacturing jobs are also an unmistakable sign that the economy’s productive capacity is gaining steam. This corroborates my initial observation from the official October manufacturing figures, which showed that the fastest growth rate was in manufacture of machinery and equipment except electrical. The sector posted the highest annual growth rate of 76.4 percent in October 2022. When the economy manufactures more machines for more manufacturing, it is a sign that businesses see more demand in the coming months – and are thus expanding their productive muscle.

I am concerned about losses in construction, which shed some 392 thousand jobs from last month. Much of this has to do with weather: more rain means less construction can get done. 

We are also losing fishing jobs – 530 thousand of them YOY, and 211 thousand over the past month. I attribute that to a whole host of factors, many of them structural. The stabilization of fuel costs will help boost this fuel-input-heavy sector, but factors such as climate change, continuing disputes in the West Philippine Sea will continue to diminish the fishing-by-capture sector. Aquaculture must remain a priority of this administration, for food supply and for the future of our fishing workers, among the poorest in the nation.

Moving forward, I am optimistic that we will continue to see some momentum when the December report comes out. The more positive outlook for inflation in 2023 should also be a boost to consumer spending.

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