Jobless rate rises to 4.1% in May — PSA

Jobless rate rises to 4.1% in May — PSA

Jobless rate rises to 4.1 percent in May — PSA

Updated on July 9, 2024 at 10:23 a.m.

The country’s unemployment rate in May rose to 4.1 percent as more Filipinos joined the labor market, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Monday.

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Preliminary results of the statistics agency’s May round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) showed the unemployment rate moved at its highest pace in four months compared to the 4 percent in the previous month but still lower than 4.3 percent in May 2023.

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READ: April unemployment rate at 4%, up from 3.9% in March

This means that there are 2.11 million jobless Filipinos, still higher than the 2.04 million recorded in Apri. However, this was lower compared to 2.17 million last year.

National Statistician Dennis Claire Mapa attributed the higher number of unemployed Filipinos to the increase in the country’s labor force. As measured by the labor force participation rate (LFPR), it went up to 64.8 percent from 64.1 percent in the previous month. This translates to 50.97 million Filipinos.

Data showed that agriculture and forestry had the largest job losses annually after shedding 1.02 million jobs. This was followed by fishing and aquaculture, with 543 thousand job losses.

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Meanwhile, job quality improved as the underemployment rate fell to its lowest since 2005 at 9.9 percent in May from 14.6 percent in the preceding month. This equates to 4.82 million Filipinos looking for an additional job or longer working hours.

For Kate Sison, compensation packages in some business process outsourcing (BPO) companies were relatively lower prior to the pandemic. Despite having work experience in the same industry, her job applications have often declined lately.

“I am focusing on work-from-home jobs and compared pre-pandemic, the hourly rates offered are lower considering the inflation rates,” she said in a message.

Ivan Uy, a licensed teacher, said that it is difficult to look for a job recently because of the “very high standard” set by employers.

“A certificate of eligibility does not guarantee anything in one’s attempt to land a job,” he said in a message.

May’s employment rate fell to 95.9 percent from 96 percent in April. In terms of level, there were 48.87 million employed Filipinos in May, higher than 48.36 million in the previous months.

Amid the mixed signals shown in the labor data, Robert Dan Roces, chief economist at Security Bank, expects unemployment trends to stabilize or decrease if positive sector growth continues.

“Underemployment, having shown significant volatility, is likely to fluctuate further though perhaps not as extreme as the April-to-May shift,” Roces said.

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In a statement, Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) highlighted the key role of digital technologies in improving the government’s employment facilitation services and training programs and improving skills forecasting in policy planning and programming.

“We must persist in our efforts to boost investments and implement key technological and innovative reforms to enhance productivity and create more high-quality employment opportunities,” Balisacan said.

By broad industry group, the services sector had the largest number of employed Filipinos, contributing 60.1 percent of the total employed persons, while agriculture and industry sectors accounted for 20.8 percent and 19.1 percent, respectively.

TAGS: jobless rate, PSA

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