Global Resources

Impact of the food, fuel, and financial crises on the philippine labor market

Author: Y. van der Meulen Rodgers, N. Menon
Publisher: Brandeis University
Publication Date: Jun 2010
How has the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and coinciding surges in international food and fuel prices impacted the Philippine labour market? This in-depth study answers this question, focusing on gendered outcomes. It does so by analysing gender-disaggregated data on education, employment and pay in various sectors. Researchers Yana van der Meulen Rodgers of Rutgers University and Nidhiya Menon of Brandeis University descriptively and quantitatively analyse key labour market indicators based on published aggregate data and micro-data from quarterly waves of the Philippine Labor Force Survey (2007 – first half of 2009). They find that men and women have experienced sharp declines in real earnings and increased job losses, especially in manufacturing; and both genders’ real wages at the upper tails of the wage distribution have declined. The financial crisis has had the largest negative effects in terms of employment on the more educated workers. Substantial job losses in labour- and capital-intensive manufacturing can largely be attributed to the decline in global demand for many types of goods supplied by developing countries such as the Philippines. Another key finding is that women’s unpaid family work has increased and self-employment opportunities decreased (consistent with reduced demand for small-scale products and services, which women tend to produce/sell). It is concluded that the 2008-2009 crises have not impacted the Philippines as severely as the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. Needed policy reforms in the following areas are noted: conducting programme evaluations with a gender lens; improving the coverage, targeting, and efficiency of poverty-reduction programs are also important; as well as reducing women’s workload in the non-market sphere. Examples of programmes currently at work that need further strengthening are provided.