SERVICE SECTOR jobs increased by more than four million between 2012 and 2018, led by professional scientific and administrative support workers, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said.

According to its Regional Analysis of the Philippine Services Sector report released this month, PIDS said over the period, employment grew 69.12% in administrative and support service activities and 45.38% in professional scientific and technical activities.

In total, services employment grew by 21.42%, accounting for more than half of total employment and 60% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Growth was lowest in accommodation and food services, arts entertainment and recreation, and education.

“Industry-specific factors in education services were quite strong that the dynamism of the economy failed to offset the industry mix effect. It was the only sector that registered lower total employment during the period,” according to the report.

It said higher employment in services can be attributed to the shift in final demand from goods to services due to higher incomes.

The shift was also influenced by changes in the structure of household expenses through urbanization, more labor participation among women, and changes in demographics.

“The inter-industrial demand of services by manufacturing which is linked to outsourcing processes is another factor. On the supply side, inter-industry productivity differentials between manufacturing and services with the former enjoying higher productivity… has been cited as the reason for increased employment in services.”

Among the four million added jobs, more than a million were in Region IVA. This was followed by 716,378 jobs in the National Capital Region and 435,587 in Region III.

Region IVA, or CALABARZON, has the largest population with almost 15 million people. Only this region reported expansion across all services subsectors. — Jenina P. Ibañez