PH unemployment rate dips to 4.7 pct in March


Posted at May 08 2023 09:17 AM | Updated as of May 08 2023 11:03 AM

Jobs quality also improves as underemployment lowest since April 2005

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines' unemployment rate dipped slightly to 4.7 percent in March from 4.8 percent in February, the state statistics bureau said on Monday. 

This was equivalent to 2.42 million Filipino workers who were jobless out of 51 million in the labor force. This was lower than the 2.47 million unemployed in February, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

“In terms of magnitude, the number of employed persons in March 2023 was estimated at 48.58 million, posting an increase of 1.61 million from the 46.98 million employed persons in March 2022,” the PSA noted.

The underemployment rate also fell to 11.2 percent in March from 12.9 percent in February, and from 15.8 percent in March 2022.

Underemployed workers have jobs but wish to add more work hours, according to the PSA.

From 7.42 million workers who were underemployed in March last year, the number has gone down to 5.44 million in March this year, or a reduction of 1.98 million.

National Statistician and Undersecretary Dennis Mapa said March posted the lowest underemployment rate since April 2005. 

Maps also noted that the quality of jobs has improved as seen in the reduction of underemployment.

“Ang maganda kung titingnan natin yung class of workers para dun sa quality of jobs , ang malaking kabawasan dito sa 1.98 million, mga 872,000 ay wage and salary workers. So ibig sabihin itong category na ito, dati underemployed sila, ngayon sinabai bila di na sila underemployed,” Mapa said. 

(The good thing here is that if we look at the class of workers in terms of the quality of jobs, a large part of the 1.98 million, around 872,000 were wage and salary workers. This means that int his category, they used to be underemployed, now they don’t say they are underemployed.)

He also noted that a significant portion of the reduction of underemployment came from private companies.

“Dito nakikita natin na ang ating employment ay tumaas, ang ating underemployment ay bumaba, at medyo substantial na yung contribution ng salary and wage earners category, in particular those employed under private establishments,” Maps said. 

(Here we see that employment has risen, underemployment has fallen, and the contribution of the category of salary and wage earners is quite substantial, in particular those employed under private establishments.)

The PSA also noted some of the major industries with the largest increases in employment on a yearly basis. 

Transportation and storage was top with 533,000 jobs added; accommodation and food service activities contributed 447,000 jobs; wholesale and retail trade, and repair of motorcycles and vehicles contributed another 407,000 jobs. 

The largest drops in employment meanwhile were seen in agriculture in forestry with 607,000 jobs lost; and financial and insurance activities with 156,000 jobs lost. Manufacturing, health services and IT also showed declines in employment.