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Philippine employment, unemployment rates steady in January 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Employment and unemployment rates in the Philippines remained the same in January 2020 as more people became fit to work, according to the latest estimates of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday, March 5.

The employment rate stayed the same at 94.7%, while unemployment stands at 5.3%.

The labor force participation rate or the number of people available for work as a percentage of the total population increased to 61.7% from 60.3%. This means that the population 15 years old and over who are now fit to work increased to 73 million from the 71.9 million recorded a year ago.

The PSA said the latest employment data translates to 42.65 million employed persons in January 2020, higher than the 41.03 million in January 2019 due to the increase in the labor force this year.

The Cordillera Administrative Region registered the highest employment rate at 97.2%, while the Ilocos Region had the lowest at 91.2%.

For unemployment, 2.39 million people had no jobs in January 2020, slightly higher than the 2.28 million recorded in the same month during the previous year.

The underemployment rate, or the number of people who have jobs but are looking for more to cover expenses, decreased to 14.8% from 15.4%. This corresponds to 6.32 million people, lower than the 6.33 million recorded a year ago. (READ: [OPINION] To escape poverty, hard work is not enough)

The PSA said 67.6% of employed persons worked for 40 hours in January, a decrease from 72.1% in the same month last year. On average, employed persons worked for 41.3 hours.

Meanwhile, the youth labor force increased to 7.43 million from 7.07 million individuals. This translates to a youth labor force participation rate of 37.4% from 35.9%. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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