Unemployment dips in April, but underemployment rises


Posted at Jun 09 2023 09:25 AM | Updated as of Jun 09 2023 03:00 PM

Pedestrians walk at a crossing in Makati City on July 12, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Pedestrians walk at a crossing in Makati City on July 12, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippine economy added more jobs in April with the unemployment rate easing further during the month, the state statistics bureau said on Friday.

However, the Philippine Statistics Authority also said that the underemployment rate in April was higher compared to the previous month.

The PSA said April’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, which is equivalent to 2.26 million jobless Filipinos. This is lower than the previous month's 4.7 percent rate or 2.42 million jobless Filipinos and January's 4.8 percent equivalent to 2.37 million, data showed.

The underemployment rate in April, meanwhile, slightly rose to 12.9 percent, equivalent to 6.2 million compared to 11.2 percent or 5.44 million in March. 

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said the top contributors to the increase in underemployment in April compared to March are the wholesale and trade sector, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and education.

The rise in underemployment was also driven by the Holy Week holidays, he said.

"Ang isa dito holidays nga, pag hindi pumapasok hindi susuweldo. April meron tayo Holy Week (One of the reasons is the holiday, if they don't go to work, they won't get paid)," Mapa said.

Underemployed workers have jobs but seek more job hours, according to the PSA. A high underemployment rate is seen to reflect the low quality of jobs available in an economy.

However, the PSA also noted that April's underemployment rate is lower than January 2023 and April 2022 at 14.1 percent and 14 percent, respectively, the PSA said.

Malacañang hailed the development, saying President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s administration's efforts have started to materialize. 

"The efforts by the Marcos administration to create more jobs for Filipinos started to pay off," said Press Secretary Cheloy Garafil in a statement. 


The services sector again accounted for the most number of jobs gained since April last year. Almost a million (914,000) jobs were added in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles. Accommodation and food service activities added 379,000 jobs; while administrative and support service activities added another 345,000 jobs. 

Agriculture and forestry meanwhile lost 290,000 jobs; manufacturing lost 204,000 jobs; and construction lost 65,000 jobs over the past 12 months. 

However, construction appears to be on the rebound as it added 301,000 jobs since the last quarter, according to PSA data. 

Manufacturing and information and communications meanwhile shed 225,000 and 66,000 jobs respectively in the previous three months. 


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