Unemployment rate dipped to 6.4 percent in April this year from 7 percent a year ago, as nearly half a million Filipinos found jobs over the 12-month period, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Tuesday.
Data also showed that underemployment rate eased to 17.8 percent in April from 18.2 percent a year earlier. In absolute terms, there were 2.7 million jobless and 6.98 million underemployed Filipinos as of April.
National Economic and Development Authority director-general Arsenio Balisacan said the reduced unemployment and underemployment rates in April 2015 indicated a sustained favorable situation in the job market, owing to the continued strength of the economy.
“The favorable market condition in April 2015 follows a similar trend in the January 2015 round of the Labor Force Survey where unemployment and underemployment also declined,” Balisacan said.
Data showed the ranks of employed individuals grew 1.3 percent to 39.159 million in April 2015 from 38.664 million in the same month last year. “This translates to 495,000 more employed Filipinos and reduced the total number of unemployed to 2.7 million,” Neda said.
The PSA also showed the unemployment rate was affected geographically, as 13 out of the 17 regions exhibited lower unemployment rates during the survey period.
“NCR continued to post the highest unemployment rate at 9.3 percent, while ARMM recorded the lowest unemployment rate at 3.2 percent,” said Balisacan.
Balisacan said in terms of the underemployed, improvements were observed across all classes of workers, except for the self-employed without any paid employee, those who worked with pay in their own family-operated farms, and workers in government or government corporations.
Balisacan was optimistic the country would reach or surpass the development plan target of 6.6 percent to 6.8 percent for the unemployment rate and 18 percent for the underemployment rate in 2015.
Balisacan, however, said there were still risks due to El Niño dry spell that impacted the agriculture sector, which accounted for about one-third of total employment.