Jobless, underemployment rates fall to 14-year low
The number of Filipinos without full time or part time jobs fell to their lowest levels in 14 years in October as the country saw what the government said was a “vibrant” employment market that defied an increasing population, according to government data on Thursday, Dec. 5.
Results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest Labor Force Survey (LFS) showed that the unemployment rate declined to 4.5 percent last October from 5.1 percent in 2018.
National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said the number of unemployed persons in the labor force went down to 2.05 million in October from 2.2 million in the same month in 2018.
The number of employed Filipinos climbed to 43.2 million from 41.3 million in the same period.
Underemployment, or having part time jobs, eased to 13 percent from 13.3 percent in 2018.
Underemployed persons, according to the PSA, are those “who express the desire to have additional hours of work or to have additional job or to have a new job with longer working hours.”
Mapa said the unemployment and underemployment rates in October were the lowest since 2005, the year that the government adopted its current employment metrics.
But the number of underemployed increased to 5.62 million from 5.5 million in 2018, the PSA said.
Mapa attributed this to an increasing labor population.
PSA data showed that the population of Filipinos 15 years old and older rose 2.3 percent to 73.5 million in October from 71.9 million a year ago.
The labor population, or those aged 15 and above considered employable, rose by a faster 3.8 pecent to 45.2 million from 43.5 million in 2018.
Youth unemployment rate declined to 12.8 percent from 13.3 percent or from 983,000 in 2018 to 946,000 last October.
The number of youth considered as “not in employment, education and training”, or NEET, declined to 17.1 percent from 18.7 percent in 2018, Mapa said.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) this week noted that the average youth NEET in the Asia-Pacific region was 18 percent.
In a statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said “all major sectors—agriculture, industry and services” recorded increases in employment last October.
Neda, however, said the government “must still continue to fast-track the implementation of programs and policies that help create quality employment.”
Edited by TSB
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