Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Unemployment rate falls to lowest point in 3 months during August.


The PSA announced on Friday that there was a decrease in unemployment in August among Filipinos, resulting in the lowest rate in three months and improved job conditions.

According to the initial findings of the most recent Labor Force Survey, the unemployment ratio in the Philippines, which measures the proportion of jobless individuals in the total workforce, decreased to 4.4% in August. This is lower than the 4.8% rate in July and the 5.3% rate in August of the previous year.

The share dropped to its lowest point since May, at 4.3%.

In August, the number of unemployed Filipinos decreased to 2.21 million, down by 60,000 from the previous month’s 2.27 million. It also saw a decline of 468,000 from August 2022’s 2.68 million.

In August, the number of employed individuals in the Philippines increased to 48.07 million, a rise of approximately 3.44 million from the previous month’s 44.63 million. This figure was also higher than the 47.87 million recorded in August of the previous year.

The percentage of people employed increased slightly to 95.6% in that month, compared to 95.2% in July. This was also an improvement from 94.7% in the same month of the previous year.

The month of August showed an improvement in job quality, with a decrease in the underemployment rate. This rate represents the proportion of employed Filipinos who desire more working hours in their current job, a second job, or a new job with longer hours. The rate decreased from 15.9% in the previous month to 11.7%. Additionally, it was lower than the 14.7% rate in August 2022.

In May, it was equal to the underemployment rate and was the lowest percentage in five months, since March’s rate of 11.2%.

In August, the number of underemployed Filipinos decreased to 5.63 million from 7.10 million in July and 7.03 million in 2022.

According to a statement from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the government’s focus on generating high-quality employment opportunities has led to a decline in both unemployment and underemployment rates.

During a press conference on Friday, NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan stated that the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) aims to not only decrease unemployment and underemployment rates, but also aims to generate high-quality job opportunities with fair compensation for all.

Mr. Balisacan stated that a considerable amount of investment is necessary to generate well-paying employment opportunities. Therefore, our economic team and President have been promoting the country to both domestic business owners and international investors in order to attract investments in the Philippines. This is crucial for the creation of high-quality jobs.

In August, the labor force grew by 3.38 million people to reach a total of 50.29 million. However, this number is 265,000 less than the previous August’s total of 50.55 million.

The labor force participation rate for that month was 64.7%, which was higher than the 60.1% in July but lower than the 66.1% in August 2022.

In August, there was a decrease in the number of new individuals entering the job market. Only 754,000 new entrants were recorded, compared to 1.64 million in July and 1.02 million in August of the previous year.

So far this year, the average unemployment rate was 4.6%, which is lower than the 5.8% rate during the same time period last year.

From January to August, the rate of underemployment was an average of 12.8%, a decrease from 14.3%. The employment rate increased to 95.4% from 94.2%, while the LFPR had an average of 64.8%, up from 64.2%.

In August, the average working hours for Filipinos was 40.8 per week, a decrease from 42.3 hours in July. This was slightly higher than the average of 40.5 hours per week in August of the previous year.

In August, services continued to be the leading source of employment in the country with a majority share of 57.3%. The agriculture sector held 24.5% of employment, while industry made up 18.2%.

Over the course of one year, there were increases in employment in the subsectors of fishing and aquaculture (572,000), construction (534,000), agriculture and forestry (378,000), human health and social work activities (153,000), and administrative and support activities (143,000).

In August, the sectors of agriculture and forestry experienced the greatest increase in employment with 1.97 million new employees. This was closely followed by wholesale and retail trade (1.13 million), construction (286,000), fishing and aquaculture (206,000), and education (182,000).

According to a message on Viber, Josua T. Mata, the secretary-general of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, stated that although there has been a slight improvement in employment numbers, the jobs being created are of low quality. Less than one-fifth of the labor force is either without a job or working in underpaid positions.

He stated that the nation’s economic progress is still lacking and that the government will need to reassess its approach and implement a strong public employment plan in order to create necessary jobs.

According to Mr. Mata’s message on Viber, the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028’s goal to increase economic growth and reduce poverty will ultimately be a hollow commitment. This information was also contributed by Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson.