Number of jobless in Philippines hits 2.64-M in January


Posted at Mar 12 2015 11:57 AM | Updated as of Mar 12 2015 08:37 PM

Typhoon-battered Leyte and Samar not covered in survey

MANILA, Philippines - There were 2.64 million unemployed in the Philippines as of January 2015, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.

The number of jobless Filipinos in January was higher than the 2.5 million unemployed recorded in October 2014. However, the January figure was lower than the 2.97 million in January 2014, using data adjusted to exclude the typhoon-devastated regions.

The jobless rate in the Philippines rose to 6.6 percent in January, from 6 percent in October. In January 2014, the jobless rate was 7.5 percent.

The PSA said the labor force participation rate was estimated at 63.8 percent, unchanged from a year ago.

There were 6.55 million underemployed in January, less than the 7.1 million in January last year, with an underemployment rate of 17.5 percent. Underemployment is defined as those with jobs but who want to work more.

More than 60 percent of the underemployed worked for less than 40 hours a week. Most of the underemployed worked in the services and agriculture sectors.

Of the estimated 37.46 million people employed in January, more than half were in the services sector, about 30 percent in agriculture and the rest were in industry.

The Philippines defied the region's slowdown in the fourth quarter by regaining momentum, bringing full-year 2014 growth to 6.1 percent - the fastest expansion in Asia after China.

The World Bank has said Philippine growth is now "more inclusive", and there are signs benefits are trickling down. But job creation has still struggled to match the number of people looking for work; 42 percent of the population still live on less than $2 per day.

The January 2015 data excludes the central Philippine region that includes typhoon-battered Leyte and Samar to make it comparable with January 2014 data. Leyte and Samar account for 5.4 percent of total households normally included in the national labor force survey.