UNEMPLOYMENT in the Philippines remained the same while underemployment fell in July, results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest Labor Force Survey revealed.
In a briefing in Quezon City on Thursday, PSA Undersecretary and National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said the poll showed that the country’s “unemployment rate was placed at 5.4 percent in July 2019 — the same rate as in July 2018. However. the number of unemployed persons increased by 4.4 percent [to] 2.43 million from 2.33 million in July 2018.”
He attributed this to more people joining “the labor force this year.”
According to the official, the number of Filipinos 15 years old and older stood at 73.13 million, compared with 71.561 million a year ago. He said that, “[o]f this population, 45.385 million were in the labor force in July 2019, compared to 42.98 million a year ago. In effect, the labor participation rate was recorded at 62.1 percent, compared to 60.1 percent in July 2018.”
The country’s employment rate, which remained at 94.6 percent for the month, translates to 42.385 million Filipinos with jobs, up from 40.650 million a year ago.
Filipino workers were grouped in three sectors: services, agriculture and industry. Those in the first sector accounted for about 57.8 percent of the total employed population; in the second, 23.5 percent; and in the third, 18.7 percent.
The country’s underemployment rate, meanwhile, dropped to 13.9 percent from 17.2 percent a year ago.
The PSA said the number of the underemployed, or those “who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours” decreased to 5.955 million from 7.003 million a year ago.
In a separate statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the government should strive more to improve the quality of employment in the country.
“While the Philippine economy has shown remarkable improvements in the labor market, the government should continually improve its efforts toward generating more productive and higher-quality employment that provides adequate income for Filipino workers and their families,” NEDA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie Edillon said.
According to her, the full implementation of Republic Act 11032, or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act,” as well as the reduction of foreign investment restrictions in public utilities, retail trade and domestic market-oriented firms, are seen to create more job opportunities.
“The government must continue encouraging the private sector to increase employment opportunities for young people, supporting technical-vocational training, promoting apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs among the youth,” Edillon said.