Philippine unemployment rate

Unemployment rate increases to 4.5% in June 2023, unpaid workers still rising

Ralf Rivas

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Unemployment rate increases to 4.5% in June 2023, unpaid workers still rising

JOB FAIR. Around 15,000 job vacancies from 100 employers are offered during the MANILabor Day Job Fair, at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila on May 1, 2023.


In June 2023, there were 4.6 million Filipinos who worked without pay, accounting for 9.5% of the workforce

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ unemployment rate inched up to 4.5% in June, bringing the total number of jobless Filipinos to 2.3 million, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday, August 9.

The latest figure is slightly higher than the 4.3% registered last May. On a month-on-month basis, the number of unemployed persons increased by 159,000.

The latest figure, however, is better compared to June 2022, when the unemployment rate stood at 6%. On a year-on-year basis, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 633,000.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate stood at 12%, equivalent to 5.87 million employed Filipinos who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work.  In June 2022, the underemployment rate was estimated at 12.6%, while it was 11.7% in May 2023.

By broad industry group, the services sector continued its dominance in terms of number of employed persons with a share of 58.2%. The agriculture and industry sectors accounted for 23.8% and 18%, respectively. 

On a year-on-year basis, accommodation and food services, agriculture and forestry, and wholesale and retail trade posted the highest gains in employment. Meanwhile, fishing and aquaculture, manufacturing, scientific and technical activities, and mining and quarrying posted the sharpest declines.

Unpaid workers

The number of unpaid workers remained elevated, according to PSA data. 

In June 2023, there were 4.6 million Filipinos who worked without pay, accounting for 9.5% of the workforce. 

In June 2022, there were 3.76 million unpaid workers, equivalent to 8.1% of employed Filipinos.

The PSA defines an unpaid family worker as someone who works without pay on one’s own family-operated farm or business by another member living in the same household. The room and board and any cash allowance given as incentives are not counted as compensation for these family workers.

Upskilling for the youth

In a statement, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said there is a need to equip the youth with the necessary skills needed in the workforce.

“As the number of young workers continues to expand, the Marcos administration is exerting efforts to focus on training and upskilling to improve their employability for high-quality and high-paying jobs,” said Balisacan.

The youth employment rate was estimated at 90.1% or 6.45 million employed youth out of the 7.16 million youth labor force. This is higher than the recorded figure of 88.2% in June 2022 and 89.4% in May 2023.

The unemployment rate among youth was recorded at 9.9% or 711,000. –

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Ralf Rivas

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