Philippines’ Unemployment Rate Hits Lowest Level in Nearly Two Decades

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The Philippines has seen a significant drop in its unemployment rate, reaching its lowest point since 2005, according to a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). In December, the unemployment rate dipped to 3.1 percent, down from 3.6 percent in November and 4.3 percent in December 2022.

This decrease translates to 1.60 million unemployed Filipinos in December, which is 230,000 less than the previous month’s figure of 1.83 million. Comparatively, it is also lower than the 2.22 million unemployed individuals in December of the previous year, reflecting a year-on-year drop of 620,000.

Looking at the full-year statistics, unemployment in 2023 registered at 4.3 percent, a decrease from 5.4 percent in 2022. This positive trend indicates an improving job market and increased opportunities for the Filipino workforce.

The employment rate also saw a positive change, rising to 96.9 percent in December from 96.4 percent in November and 95.7 percent in December 2022. This means that 50.52 million Filipinos were employed in December, compared to 49.64 million in November and 49 million in December 2022.

However, the report also highlights the issue of underemployment, which refers to individuals who are looking for more work or an additional job. In December, the underemployment rate was 11.9 percent, slightly up from 11.7 percent the previous month but lower than the 12.6 percent recorded in the same month in 2022.

The number of underemployed individuals in December was equivalent to 6.01 million. These are individuals who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, additional jobs, or a new job with longer hours.

When examining the labor market by sector, the services sector continued to dominate, accounting for 57.3 percent of the employed population in December. This sector includes industries such as tourism, hospitality, and business process outsourcing.

The country’s Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in December 2023 was registered at 66.6 percent, indicating an increase from November’s 65.9 percent and the reported LFPR in December 2022 at 66.4 percent. The LFPR measures the percentage of the working-age population that is either employed or actively seeking employment.

These statistics provide valuable insights into the current state of the Philippine job market. The significant decrease in unemployment and the rise in employment rate reflect positive developments and opportunities for the Filipino workforce. However, the issue of underemployment still persists, highlighting the need for further efforts to provide stable and fulfilling employment opportunities for all.

Source: The Manila Times

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