Monday, 1 March 2010

BSP’s employment outlook index hits all-time high

By Michelle Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The employment outlook index has hit a historic high, with companies planning to hire additional workers in the coming quarter as they gear up for a potential rise in consumer demand that may come along with the anticipated economic recovery.

According to the latest Business Expectation Survey, conducted by the central bank from Jan. 5 to Feb. 12, the employment outlook index reached an all-time high of +22 percent. This was a jump from the +8.7 registered in the last quarter’s survey and a reversal of the -8.2 percent recorded in the survey conducted in the first quarter of 2009.

The employment outlook index from the latest survey, which covered 1,664 companies belonging to the country’s top 7,000 corporations, means that more companies expect to hire additional workers in the second quarter.

The employment outlook index is determined by subtracting the number of respondent companies that expect to hire additional employees in the next quarter from the number of firms that do not expect to do so.

“Since many companies have a bullish outlook [on the economy and on their profitability], they are considering hiring more workers,” BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said Friday.

He said that employment prospects always go along with the economic and sales outlook of companies.

The survey also showed that companies that expect to expand operations in the next quarter outnumbered those that had no expansion plans, with the “expansion index” settling at +19.9 percent.

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