Jobless rate down
Amid a sustained robust economic growth, the jobless rate declined to 5.5 percent in 2016 from 6.3 percent last year, latest government data showed.
The employment rate hence rose to 94.5 percent from 93.7 percent last year, preliminary results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) 2016 Annual Estimates of Labor Force Survey (LFS) showed.
Early this month, state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority noted that the 5.5-percent average unemployment rate for the entire year exceeded the government’s target of 6.5-6.7 percent.
The number of jobless Filipinos this year hit 2.4 million, the PSA said.
In the first three quarters, the economy grew by an average of 7 percent, such that economic managers expected to achieve the “conservative” 6-7 percent growth target for the year.
The PSA said that out of the 68.1 million Filipinos in the labor force, 43.2 million were “economically active,” or either employed or unemployed.
The labor force population covers those aged 15 and above.
The employment rate translates to 40.8 million Filipinos with jobs. More than half or 55.6 percent of those employed are working in the services sector, PSA data showed.
The agriculture sector, meanwhile, is the bread and butter of 26.9 percent of employed Filipinos, while the industry sector accounted for 17.5 percent.
There were more full-time workers, who worked 40 hours or more a week, than part-time workers, who worked less than 40 hours a week, in 2016, the data showed.
“Two-thirds (66.6 percent) of the total employed persons worked for 40 hours or longer in a week whereas, those who worked for less than 40 hours, 32.5 percent,” the PSA said.
The PSA report also showed a slight improvement in the underemployment rate to 18.3 percent this year from 18.5 percent in 2015.
This translated to 7.5 million underemployed Filipinos this year, the PSA said.
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 employment figures were based on the average of the four LFS rounds conducted in January, April, July and October, the PSA said.
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