The government wants to cut unemployment rate in the country to 3 percent within the six-year term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
National Economic and Development Authority director-general Ernesto Pernia told Manila Standard the target was to “definitely” pull down unemployment rate to 3 percent.
Unemployment rate, or the percentage of jobless Filipinos in 2016, dipped to 5.5 percent in 2016, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Wednesday.
Final results of the Labor Force Survey conducted by PSA showed that annual unemployment rate dropped 0.8-percentage point from 6.3 percent recorded in 2015.
This translated to about 2.39 million Filipinos who were unemployed this year.
“Of this number, 77.7 percent belonged to age group 15 to 34 years wherein those in age group 15 to 24 years comprised 48.4 percent and those in the age group 25 to 34 years, 29.3 percent,” PSA said.
The participation rate in the labor force was recorded at 63.4 percent of the 68.1 million of population over 15 years old.
“This is equivalent to about 43.2 million economically active population comprising either the employed or unemployed persons,” PSA said.
Underemployment rate also declined to 18.3 percent this year from 18.5 percent in 2015. Neda said earlier underemployment was prevalent among those working in private households and those employed in family business.
Pernia said the administration aimed to bring down the underemployment rate to 9 percent before the end of the Duterte administration in 2022. Underemployment rate refers to the percentage of employed individuals desiring for more hours of work.
“Even more important [is] to bring down underemployment rate from the current 18 percent, perhaps cutting it by half,” Pernia said.
Pernia, however, said his estimates were still subject for further studies and computation.
Neda deputy director-general Rosemarie Edillon said the focus of the government was to reduce the underemployment rate.
“It looks like we have the momentum for quantity of jobs. The goal now is quality of jobs,” Edillon told Manila Standard.
The government needs to generate at least 12 million jobs before 2022 to achieve the employment target, according to Neda.
“I think we should generate 2 million [jobs annually] to mop up the unemployed and those who are incoming to the labor force,” Pernia said earlier.
Pernia said addressing the unemployment and underemployment issues would eventually lead to a reduction in poverty incidence.