MANILA - The Philippines' employment rate climbed in January but so did the the underemployment rate, according to data released by the country's statistics agency on Wednesday.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the employment rate rose to 94.7 percent in January this year from 93.4 percent in the same month last year. This meant that 41.8 million Filipinos had jobs in January.
The unemployment rate, which counts the number of working-age people looking for jobs, also dropped to 5.3 percent from 6.6 percent last year.
"This is within the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 target of 4.7-5.3 percent for 2018," the National Economic and Development Authority said.
However, the country's underemployment rate during the first month of the year also rose to 18 percent from 16.3 percent last year.
The PSA defines the underemployed as "employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours."
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said he is confident that the country's employment numbers will continue to improve in the coming months.
“More jobs are expected to be created during the country’s infrastructure build-up which will not only ease traffic and promote regional development but also generate more quality jobs,” he said.