Underemployment falls to 15-year low
The underemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 15 years as the country’s chief economist said the economic expansion enjoyed in recent years translated into more quality jobs.
The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest Labor Force Survey released on Wednesday showed that the share of Filipinos belonging to the labor force who were looking for a better job or more working hours rate declined to 13.3 percent in October from 15.9 percent a year ago.
National Statistician Lisa Grace Bersales told a press conference that it was the lowest underemployment rate since 2003.
PSA data showed that the number of underemployed persons dropped to 5.5 million in October from 6.6 million during the same month last year.
In an interview, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said “there are more quality, full-time jobs now than before.”
Pernia, who heads the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority, noted that the underemployment rate used to reach more than 20 percent in the past.
However, the unemployment rate inched up to 5.1 percent in October from a year ago’s 5 percent.
The number of employed persons in the labor force population that month declined to 41.3 million from last year’s 41.5 million, PSA data showed. —BEN O. DE VERA
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