Friday, April 19, 2024

To stem declining labor force, NEDA cites need to expand digital economy

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has emphasized the need to expand the digital economy, including the digitalization of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups, to address the declining labor force and increase labor market gains in 2024 and beyond.

“Digitalization enables alternative work arrangements, particularly for the youth, women, and those in the creative sector. This will help address the declining labor force,” says NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balicasan.

“We will take full advantage of the liberalization reforms intended to attract investments in the Philippines, especially in digital infrastructure. Upgrading our infrastructure will attract investments that generate high-quality jobs,” Balisacan said.

He noted that the government will further support a more productive, agile, and adaptive workforce by passing and implementing crucial regulatory reforms, such as the Apprenticeship Bill, Lifelong Learning Bill, and the Enterprise Productivity Act.

Balisacan also underscored the need to establish a regulatory framework to allow alternative work arrangements, including part-time work, even in the formal economy.

“Allowing part-time work even in the formal sector will expand opportunities for lifelong learning, work experience in an organized setting, and coverage in social protection systems,” he said.

The Labor Force Survey (LFS) in November 2023 revealed that the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent, the lowest recorded unemployment rate since the Philippine Statistics Authority introduced a new methodology for measuring the LFS in 2005.

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