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FACT CHECK: Around 1.6 million Filipinos unemployed as of December 2023, not 10 million


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FACT CHECK: Around 1.6 million Filipinos unemployed as of December 2023, not 10 million
The figure that the Philippine Statistics Authority’s December 2023 Labor Force Survey released represents the 3.1% unemployment rate of the country in December 2023

Claim: As of December 2023, the number of unemployed in the Philippines was 10 million, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim can be found in the Facebook post of former broadcaster Jay Sonza published on March 16. It garnered 801 reactions, 65 comments, and 20 shares as of writing. 

The post states: “Ulat naman ng Philippine Statistics Authority, halos 10Milyong [sic] Pilipino ang walang trabaho sa Pilipinas nito lamang Disyembre 2023. Wala pang inilalabas na unemplyment [sic] report ang PSA sa unang semester ng 2024.” 

(The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that nearly 10 million Filipinos have no work in the Philippines just this December 2023. The PSA has not released an unemployment report yet for the first semester of 2024.)

The facts: The PSA has not reported that as of December 2023, nearly 10 million Filipinos were unemployed. 

According to the PSA’s December 2023 Labor Force Survey, the number of unemployed in the Philippines during that period was around 1.60 million. This represents a 3.1% unemployment rate for December 2023 – lower than both the rates for the previous year (December 2022 at 4.3%) and previous month (November 2023 at 3.6%). The 1.60 million figure can also be found in Table A of the PSA’s report. 

As for underemployment, the same survey shows that the number of underemployed in the Philippines for December 2023 is around 6.01 million (as seen in Table 3 or Table A), representing an underemployment rate of 11.9%. The PSA defines underemployment as referring to employed persons who “express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or an additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours.”

Past related fact checks: Rappler has fact-checked several false claims from Sonza since 2018, the most recent being the claim that the Philippines has 19 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites, contrary to the correct number which is nine. 

Rappler also published a fact check on July 13, 2021, that debunked a claim that Sonza made regarding PSA figures. Sonza claimed that PSA economic growth rates of the country from 2010 to 2016 were 3.7%, 3.2%, and 4.2%, despite no such figures being found in the PSA’s tables upon checking. – Percival Bueser/ Rappler.com 

Percival Bueser is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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