MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Unemployment declined to 6.4 percent in January, the state statistics bureau said Friday.
The figure translates to 2.93 million jobless Filipinos, National Statistician Dennis Mapa said in a virtual briefing.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said January's jobless rate is lower compared to the previous labor force quarterly result in October 2021 with the unemployment rate at 7.4 percent, equivalent to 3.5 million jobless Filipinos.
January's monthly unemployment rate is also lower than December's 6.6 percent or 3.27 million jobless count.
Underemployment also declined to 14.9 percent in January, equivalent to 6.4 million compared to the 16.1 percent or 7.04 million in October 2021, data showed.
The total employed population for the month was at 43.02 million or 93 percent, higher than the 92.6 percent recorded in October 2021, the PSA said.
Mapa said the main unemployment drivers for the month were agriculture and fisheries due to seasonality as well as fishing bans in February.
Economic managers estimate 170,000 additional Filipinos will be employed in the next quarter as more areas shift to the lowest COVID-19 alert level, said Palace acting spokesman and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
He said government continues to extend "targeted relief" to the transport and agriculture sectors, and cash aid for the poorest households to help them cope with rising fuel prices.
The PSA noted that estimates from Surigao Del Norte and Dinagat Islands were not included in the latest labor force survey due to typhoon Odette.