MANILA - Unemployment rate in March eased to 5.8 percent or equivalent to 2.87 million jobless Filipinos, government data released Friday showed.
The total is lower compared to the 6.4 percent unemployment rate in February, which is equivalent to 3.13 million jobless Filipinos the previous month, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
March joblessness rate is also better compared to the 7.1 percent or 3.44 million without jobs in March 2021.
Underemployment, or people who need more jobs or job hours rose to 15.8 percent or 7.42 million in March from 14 percent of 6.38 million in February 2022, data showed.
The total employment rate, meanwhile, also slightly improved to 94.2 percent rate or 46.98 million from 93.6 percent or 45.48 the previous month, the PSA said.
Economic managers have said the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and recovery of business activities could lead to more jobs, which is reflected in the current employment data.
"We welcome the latest employment situation reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showing employment rate in March 2022 at 94.2 -- the highest since April 2020," Presidential Communications Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin M. Andanar said.
"This proves how effective our calibrated strategy of shifting to Alert Level System to further reopen the economy – where more businesses are operating and more Filipinos are able to go to work – while ramping our COVID-19 vaccination drive," he added.
However, several groups such as the Asian Development Bank warned that although employment numbers are reverting to its pre-pandemic level, there was an increase in low-quality jobs.
- with reports from Warren De Guzman and Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News