Underemployment hits 6-year high at 22.7% in July
MANILA, Philippines - The country's underemployment rate -- or the growth in the number of employed Filipinos looking for additional or higher-paying work -- shot up to a 6-year high in July, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO).
In its Labor Force Survey (LFS) released on Tuesday, September 18, the NSO said underemployment shot up to 22.7% in July. This was the highest since July 2006 when underemployment was at 23.4%.
The NSO said a large percentage of the underemployed were working in the services sector at 42.5% and agriculture sector at 41.5%. The underemployed in the industry sector acounted for 16%.
"Employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have (an) additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed. The number of underemployed persons in July 2012 was estimated at 8.5 million," the NSO explained.
Rosemarie Edillon, National Policy and Planning Staff Director at the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), explained that the increase in the number of employed Filipinos looking for additional work was due largely to the weather disturbances in July.
Edillon said this significantly affected the agriculture sector where some 400,000 Filipinos lost some form of income due to the storms.
She said this is the reason why the Neda is scheduling a meeting with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and representatives of the private sector to come up with immediate measures to address the situation.
"We'll meet with DOLE and reach out with the private sector to come up with an immediate course of action. We also hope that the industry roadmaps being crafted together with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies will be finished soon," Edillon said.
Rate of jobs growth
In July, the NSO said the country's labor force participation rate in July was the slowest in two years since October 2009 when the labor force participation rate was also at 64%.
The country's labor force participation rate is the percentage of Filipinos in the labor force who are in the working age of between 15 and 65 years old.
The data also showed the country's employment rate increased year-on-year to 93% while the country's unemployment slowed to 7% in July.
Compared to the April round of the NSO's LFS, the country's employment slowed from 93.1% while unemployment increased from 6.9%.
As of July this year, there were 37.58 million employed Filipinos while 2.84 million are without work. - Rappler.com