Unemployment rate eases in July but underemployment rate climbs

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THE Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday there were fewer jobless Filipinos in July this year as the unemployment rate declined while the employment rate improved.

However, the number of underemployed workers also rose.

The PSA said the unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent in July, which is equivalent to 2.6 million jobless Filipinos. This was an improvement over the previous month’s six percent unemployment rate, which was equivalent to 2.99 million jobless workers.

July’s figure was also an improvement compared to the 5.7 percent or 2.76 million unemployed in April 2022 and the 7.2 percent or 3.23 million jobless in July last year, data showed.

Meanwhile, the number of underemployed persons was estimated at 6.54 million in July, higher than the 5.89 million estimated in June. The underemployment rate also climbed to 13.8 percent in July from 12.6 percent in June.

The PSA classified people as underemployed when they already have jobs but still want to work more hours to add to their income. People can be working more than 40 hours per week but still be classified as underemployed, especially in the informal sector.

The employment rate also improved to 94.8 percent for the period, which is equivalent to 47.39 million. This is higher by 5.72 million and 1.76 million compared to July 2021 and April 2022, respectively.