The number of unemployed Filipinos declined by 329,000 to 2.27 million in July this year from 2.60 million a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
In a briefing yesterday, National Statistician Dennis Mapa reported the results of the PSA’s recent Labor Force Survey showing the unemployment rate during the month fell to 4.8 percent from 5.2 percent in July last year.
The labor force participation rate (LFPR) was estimated at 60.1 percent, or about 46.90 million Filipinos aged 15 years and over who were either employed or unemployed.
This is down from the 65.2 percent LFPR in July 2022.
“We saw that there’s a huge decline in the number of individuals in the labor force. Year-on-year, it was down by 3.1 million,” Mapa said.
Mapa said that based on the survey, 1.99 million said they focused on household duties, 1.08 million said they are too young to work, and 365,000 said they were not able to secure jobs.
“These three categories form the substantial reasons for that drop in the number in the labor market in July,” he added.
The employment rate, meanwhile, was recorded at 95.2 percent, higher than the 94.8 percent in July last year.
In terms of magnitude, the number of employed persons was estimated at 44.63 million, lower than the 47.39 million in July 2022.
Major industries with the largest drop in employment include wholesale and retail trade, agriculture and forestry, and public administration and defense.
The number of underemployed persons, or employed persons who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have an additional or to have a new job with longer hours of work, was registered at 7.10 million translating to an underemployment rate of 15.9 percent.
This was higher than the reported 13.8 percent rate a year ago.
In a separate statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the government is prioritizing the creation of high-quality and high-paying jobs to address the rising issue of vulnerable employment, particularly among self-employed and unpaid family workers.
“The entire government remains committed to improving the business climate in the country to attract more investments, which will lead to the creation of high-quality and high-paying jobs,” said NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
He also reiterated the importance of fast-tracking the implementation of the 2023 budget and the government’s infrastructure programs that aim to strengthen the country’s competitiveness and create more job opportunities for workers.
Balisacan said the Marcos administration’s priority is to roll out programs enhancing the skill sets of Filipino employees.
“We will focus on expanding upskilling and retooling programs to improve the country’s labor market performance. These are critical to assisting members of the workforce, particularly those in vulnerable employment, to improve their employability and allowing them to move across industries and occupations,” he said.*PNA