TUCP, Trade Union Congress, modern economy, unskilled workers, total membership
In 2000 the labor force of the Philippines numbered 31.9 million people. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing employed 39 percent of the labor force; manufacturing, construction, and mining, 16 percent; and services, 45 percent. The unemployment rate was 10.1 percent in 2000.
Employment opportunities associated with the modern economy, mostly services and manufacturing, are concentrated in a few urban centers, especially the Manila metropolitan area. The country’s high rate of population growth results in large additions to the labor force each year in an economy with a high rate of unemployment and even higher underemployment. The shortage of employment opportunities has resulted in large-scale migrations of Filipino workers, both sophisticated professionals and unskilled workers, to countries such as the United States and Malaysia. Approximately 6 million Filipinos work abroad. Many of them send a portion of their earnings to relatives in the Philippines, infusing the economy with a significant source of foreign exchange. The migration of vitally needed professionals has created a serious “brain drain” in the Philippines.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) is the largest union body in the Philippines, with about 1.5 million members and 39 affiliated labor and trade unions. In the late 1990s the Philippines had more than 8,000 trade unions with a total membership of 3.6 million.
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