PLANTITOS and plantitas as well as online sellers swelled the number of employed workers in August, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The PSA said agriculture and forestry, which posted the highest increase in employment may have been due to gainful activities fueled by Filipinos’ new-found hobby of growing ornamental plants.

Online sellers and unpaid family workers, meanwhile, increased the number of workers in the wholesale retail sector.

“Agriculture and forestry includes growing of food and non-food crops [such as ornamental plants], livestock and poultry production and animal products, hunting and trapping of animals and related support activities,” PSA told BusinessMirror in an e-mail.

“Since the pandemic started, there were emerging businesses or gainful activity related to growing of crops and ornamental plants [plantita or plantito],” it added.

Based on the data, the highest increase in the growth of employment in the Agriculture sector was between April 2020 and July 2020 when jobs increased by 2.09 million to 9.75 million.

This was followed by August 2021 when there was an increase of 1.78 million to 9.85 million and October 2005, when there was an increase of 1.065 million to 10.595 million workers.

In terms of employed workers in the Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles Industry, PSA data showed there were 9.5 million employed in the sector.

However, more than half or 4.85 million were self-employed workers without any paid employees. The number of these workers also increased by 455,000 from the 4.395 million in July 2021.

“Increase in the number of employed in the Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles industry from July 2021 to August 2021 can be attributed to the increase in self-employed without any paid employee and worked without pay in own family operated farm or business, these classes of worker are the proxy indicators for informal,” PSA said.

The increase in the number of workers without pay in their own family farm or business also posted an increase of 577,000 to 1.099 million in August 2021 from 543,000 in July 2021.

In contrast, wage and salary workers declined by 20,000 to 3.193 million in August 2021 from 3.213 million in July 2021.

Employers in their own family-operated farm or business remained unchanged at 361,000 in July and August 2021.

Services dominate

On Friday, PSA said the services sector consistently dominated the employment hub, or 56 percent of the total employed persons in August 2021. The agriculture and industry sectors contributed 25.1 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively.

The top five industries with the largest increase in number of jobs were Agriculture and Forestry with an addition of 1.78 million jobs to 9.85 million in August from 8.07 million in July.

PSA data listed other sectors posting the highest increase in employment: wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles which generated an additional 992,000 jobs, amid ECQ; manufacturing, 169,000; other service activities, 148,000; and fishing and aquaculture, 128,000.

Industries that lost the most jobs in August were led by education, with 238,000 jobs lost. This brought down employment in the sector to 1.18 million in August from 1.42 million in July 2021.

This was followed by Administrative and support service activities with 183,000 jobs lost; Professional, scientific and technical activities, 110,000; construction, 85,000; and Human health and social work activities, 83,000.





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