By JON VIKTOR D. CABUENAS, GMA News
Published September 8, 2022 10:05am
The number of jobless Filipinos decreased in July but there were more underemployed Filipinos during the month, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday revealed.
Preliminary results of the Labor Force Survey showed that there were 2.60 million unemployed Filipinos in July, lower than the 2.99 million in June and 3.23 million in the same month last year.
This translates to an unemployment rate of 5.2%, lower than the 6.0% in June and 7.2% recorded in July 2021. This is the lowest rate since it stood at 4.5% in October 2019.
Broken down per region, five regions across the country recorded unemployment rates higher than the national estimates — Metro Manila with 6.9%, Calabarzon with 6.3%, Western Visayas with 6.0%, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with 5.6%, and Northern Mindanao with 5.3%.
Results of the same survey showed that there were 47.39 million Filipinos who were employed in July, up from 46.59 million in June and 41.67 million the same month last year.
This is equivalent to an employment rate of 94.8%, higher than the 94.0% in the previous month and the 92.8% in July 2021.
The largest increases in employment were recorded in wholesale and retail trade; agriculture and forestry; accommodation and food service activities; and other service activities.
The average weekly hours for the month was estimated at 40.5 hours, higher than the 40.3 hours in June.
The same data show, however, that the number of underemployed individuals increased to 6.54 million in July from the 5.89 million recorded in June, but lower than the 8.77 million in July 2021.
The underemployment rate clocked in at 13.8%, higher than the 94.0% in June and the 92.8% in July last year.
Underemployed individuals are those who express the desire to have additional hours of work or to have a new job with more working hours.
The visible underemployment rate — the proportion of employed Filipinos working less than 40 hours in a week — stood at 9.0%, up from 8.5% in June but lower than the 11.0% in July 2021.
National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said the latest increase was most prominent among the wholesale and retail trade; construction; and public administration and defense subsectors.
“Tumaas din sila sa employment, so usually makikita natin na tumaas ‘yung ating employed persons and of course, ‘pag tumataas ng ganon kalaki, ‘yung iba diyan ay mako-consider na underemployed,” he told reporters in a press conference.
(We can see that the number of employed persons increased and of course, if it grows that big, some of them will be considered underemployed.)
The labor force participation rate for the month was recorded at 65.2% or 49.99 million Filipinos aged 15 and older who were either employed or unemployed. —KBK, GMA News