MANILA, Philippines – There were more people with jobs in April compared to the same period last year, but the number of underemployed workers also increased, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday, June 5.
Unemployment slightly declined in April to 5.5%, 0.2 percentage points lower than the recorded figure in the same period last year, the PSA said in a statement, citing the results of the April 2018 Labor Force Survey.
The PSA also said that underemployment increased by 0.9 percentage points to 17% in April, compared to April 2017.
This represents 6.9 million workers who, by the definition of the PSA, are already working but are still looking for more work or longer working hours. Underemployed individuals work for less than 40 hours a week.
The number of jobless Filipinos is estimated to be at around 2.36 million.
Ilocos (7.3%), CALABARZON (6.6%) and the National Capital Region (6.4%) posted the highest unemployment rate.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) attributed the slight improvement in employment to the infrastructure boom in both the public and private sectors. (READ: Diokno: Returning OFWs can get jobs from gov’t infrastructure program)
“Employment grew partly due to increased infrastructure spending as the Department of Public Works and Highways’ road projects and rehabilitation of public school facilities are already underway nationwide,” NEDA Undersecretary Jose Miguel de la Rosa said.
NEDA reported that the industry recorded a strong employment growth rate of 8.1%, equivalent to 605,000 workers, increasing its total employment share to 19.7%.
The construction sector generated the most jobs at around 468,000.
“In order for us to achieve our employment targets, reforms in market regulations and and tackling structural barriers are important to facilitate the creation of businesses and to boost the outputs of firms. These may translate to high-productivity jobs,” De la Rosa said. – Rappler.com