LABOR DAY THOUGHTS: APPRECIATING JOBS, COMPANIES, OPPORTUNITIES
THE Philippines celebrates Labor Day every May 1. In the past, the day was marked by street parades, beach parties and a cornucopia of promos in malls and other establishments.
However, ever since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, life for many has taken a drastic turn, with people switching to survival mode.
The business sector was among the heavily hit industries during the rise of the coronavirus. With hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses downsizing or shutting down, many people lost their jobs in the process.
A Statista survey covering the period from April 13-18, 2020 revealed that “64 percent of households had a member who lost their job due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), that was implemented in the country on March 16, 2020, because of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.”
An article from the Asian Development Blog published June 4, 2021 stated that the Philippines experienced its “longest ever economic and job expansion” and “remarkable growth in wage and salary employment” growing at an average 4.6 percent annual rate from 2015 to 2019. It is unfortunate that the pandemic had wiped out the gains to the tune of 1.7 million jobs in 2020.
The government remains steadfast in its efforts in bringing back jobs. On Jan. 7, 2022, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) reported that the country logged its lowest unemployment rate since April 2020, echoing the data by the Philippine Statistics Authority that the “unemployment rate decreased from 7.4 percent in October (2021) to 6.5 percent in November (2021), the lowest since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
While there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of the workforce and how the post-pandemic workplace would look like, there is a reason for most who have managed to keep their jobs to appreciate what they have.
For those who have unfortunately lost their means of livelihood and continue to struggle to find ways and means to support themselves and their loved ones, today could serve as a reminder to not lose hope as the country is getting back on its feet again.
To the millions of former, current and future employees, a Happy Labor Day to one and all.