2.7M jobless Filipinos in August

THE country’s unemployment rate significantly declined to 5.3 percent in August 2022 from 8.1 percent in the same period last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority announced Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.

This translates to a decrease in unemployed workers to 2.7 million in August 2022 from 3.9 million in August 2021.

National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, in a statement said, the country is “now reaping the gains of the safe and gradual full reopening of the economy” but warned that the country shouldn’t rest on its laurels.

“We must harness the benefits of our key economic liberalization laws such as the Public Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act. These reforms would attract high-value and innovation-driven investments which, in turn, could generate more and quality employment,” he said.

PSA said the underemployment rate remained at 14.7 percent or 548,000 more employed individuals seeking additional hours of work.

Employment rate, on the other hand, reached 47.9 million in August 2022 or 3.6 million additional employment year-on-year. This is due to stronger growth in the services sector, specifically in the wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food services that benefitted from the continuous easing of mobility restrictions and resumption of face-to-face classes.

On the other hand, the agriculture sector, which accounts for 22.6 percent of total employment, shed around 265,000 employment year-on-year due to high fuel and fertilizer prices, African swine fever, bird flu, and weather disturbances.

Balican said a more efficient labor market will be outlined in the upcoming Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

This includes improving of the quality of education, providing opportunities for life-long learning, in-demand skills development, options to obtain micro-credentials, enhancing job facilitation programs and strengthening linkages among industries, businesses and training institutions.