Unemployment down, underemployment up in July | Inquirer Business
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Unemployment down, underemployment up in July

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 06:42 AM September 10, 2015

Even as the number of Filipinos looking for additional work increased last July, those without a job decreased amid a robust economy, making the government’s unemployment rate goal for this year achievable, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said on Wednesday.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) July 2015 Labor Force Survey (LFS) showed that the unemployment rate eased to 6.5 percent from 6.7 percent a year ago.

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“The favorable economic growth of the country certainly drove an encouraging response from the labor market in July. This follows a similar trend in January and April where unemployment also declined relative to 2014,” Economic Planning Secretary and Neda Director-General Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

“For the rest of the year, the country is at par in terms of achieving the Philippine Development Plan target of 6.6 to 6.8 percent for unemployment,” Balisacan added.

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Neda said the services sector generated the most number of jobs during the period. Services make up more than half of employment in the country.

A flurry of construction projects rolled out by the government as well as the private sector also bolstered job creation in the industry sector, Neda added.

Neda likewise claimed that there was a “broad-based” rise in the number of full-time employees while the number of part-time workers slid. “More remunerative and stable wage and salary jobs increased by 1.5 million, of which 1.1 million workers were from private establishments,” Neda said.

However, the latest of the quarterly LFS showed that the underemployment rate increased to 21 percent (for the entire country) and 20.8 percent (excluding Leyte province) in July from 18.3 percent a year ago. Last year’s survey also excluded Leyte, which was flattened by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in 2013.

The PSA defines the underemployed as “employed persons who express 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.”

The labor force population—which includes Filipinos who are 15 years old and above, whether employed or not—increased to 66.6 million in July from 64.1 million last year. The labor force participation rate stood at 62.9 percent that month, down from 64.4 percent a year ago.

Balisacan, however, said the dry spell due to El Niño had a “debilitating” impact on jobs in the agriculture sector.

“Partly affected by the prolonged dry spell and drought being experienced in some production areas, the sector recorded 877,000 net employment losses in July,” the Neda chief disclosed.

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TAGS: Philippines, underemployment, unemployment
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