Unemployment rate in July stayed at a 10-year low of 5.4 percent, as more than 2.3 million Filipinos found work over the past 12 months, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
The figure remained the lowest unemployment rate recorded for all July rounds of the survey since 2009, the PSA said.
The PSA said the employment growth rate increased by 5.7 percent in July, faster than the 1.2-percent growth a year ago. This translated into 2.3 million additional employment or almost five times the 479,000 jobs generated in the same period last year.
The total number of employed Filipinos reached nearly 43 million in July on account of stronger employment in the services and agriculture sectors.
“While the Philippine economy has shown remarkable improvements in the labor market, the government should continually improve its efforts towards generating more productive and higher quality employment that provides adequate income for Filipino workers and their families,” NEDA Undersecretary for policy and planning Rosemarie Edillon said Thursday.
Edillon said the full implementation of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act and the reduction of foreign investment restrictions in public utilities, retail trade, and domestic-market oriented firms would create more employment opportunities for Filipinos.
Meanwhile, the underemployment rate or the proportion of those already employed but still wanting more work fell to its lowest rate in all July rounds of the survey at 13.9 percent, from a year ago’s 17.2 percent. This translated into a reduction of over a million underemployed workers in July 2019. Julito G. Rada
The year-to-date unemployment rate averaged 5.2 percent, near the upper end of the 4.3 percent to 5.3 percent target under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.
The labor force participation rate expanded to 62.1 percent as more Filipinos are encouraged to join the labor force. Youth LFPR went up to 38.3 percent, or 1.5 percentage points higher than the previous survey period.
“The government must continue encouraging the private sector to increase employment opportunities for young people, supporting technical vocational training, promoting apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs among the youth,” Edillon said.
She said female LPFR improved, given the decline in the number of females who are economically inactive or not in the labor force. A sharp decline of 3.4 percent (361,000) was observed in the number of women who cited the assumption of household and family duties as a reason for not being in the labor force.
She said the government should speed up programs and policies to meet the government’s annual target of increasing female LFPR to 50.1 percent.
“To achieve the target in increasing female LFPR, monitoring and strict implementation of programs and policies geared towards fostering women’s economic participation need to be intensified such as the Expanded Maternity Leave Act and Telecommuting Act, which recognizes alternative work-from-home arrangements in the private sector,” she said.