Palace Hails Drop in PH Unemployment Rate as ‘Positive Development’ - The Most Popular Lists


Palace Hails Drop in PH Unemployment Rate as ‘Positive Development’

More Filipinos had jobs in October, with the number of jobless dipping to the lowest in over a decade, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

Some 43.15 million Filipinos were employed as of end-October, higher than the 41.33 million who held jobs a year ago to translate to a 95.5 percent employment rate.

Of them, 57.7 percent worked in the services sector, accounting for the lion's share, with a third finding jobs in the wholesale and retail trade segment.

About a fourth of the workforce was engaged in agriculture, while some 19 percent found employment in the industrial sector.

Salary workers accounted for nearly two-thirds of employment, bulk of which came from the private sector. A fourth were considered self-employed, while some 5.9 percent are considered unpaid family workers.

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Full-time workers who serve for 40 hours or more a week account for 70.8 percent of the total, working an average of 41.8 hours weekly.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the country effectively created 1.8 million jobs and 153,000 people were hired during the period.

On the other hand, some 2 million or 4.5 percent of the labor force were unemployed. The PSA said this figure is the lowest since 2005.

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Males accounted for 61.4 percent of the jobless during the month. By age, nearly half were from the 15-24 bracket. About 27.9 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, a tenth reached college studies, while a fourth completed junior high school.

By location, unemployment was lowest in the Zamboanga Peninsula (1.9 percent), Cordillera Administrative Region (2.8 percent), Ilocos Region (3.5 percent), Northern Mindanao (3.5 percent) and MIMAROPA Region (3.7 percent).

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Meanwhile, the underemployed — those who are working but want additional jobs or longer hours of work — stood at 13 percent or 5.6 million Filipinos, down from 13.3 percent last year.

The NEDA said the country remains on track with its goal to slash joblessness to 5.1 percent for 2019.

Still, labor groups weren't pleased with the lower unemployment rate. Defend Job Philippines downplayed the 0.9 percent drop in joblessness, saying it shows the government's "inaction and lack of decisive measures to ease the growing number of unemployed Filipino workers across the country."

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The group added that the data "will remain insignificant" to the labor sector until all other Filipinos find jobs.

Alan Tanjusay, spokesman of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, said separately that they expect the government to find ways to create new opportunities for jobseekers.

"Ang ating standard ay around 500,000, dapat ang kababayan natin na may trabaho sa isang taon. In this case, it’s more than 100,000 sa isang taon lamang," Tanjusay said, pointing out that issues like trafffic congestion and red tape in government permits and processes remain hurdles for increased employment.

[Translation: Our standard is we provide work to around 500,000 people in a year. In this case, we gave jobs to just a little more than 100,000.]

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This article first appeared on CNN Philippines.

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