PH unemployment, underemployment rates rise in August even as more workers get jobs


Posted at Oct 06 2022 10:44 AM | Updated as of Oct 06 2022 01:32 PM

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

MANILA - Around 2.68 million Filipinos were jobless in August as the unemployment rate climbed to 5.3 percent from 5.2 percent in July, according to government data released on Thursday.

The Philippine Statistics Authority said August's jobless rate translated to 79,000 more unemployed compared to July. But this number was also lower by 1.2 million compared to August 2021's 8.1 percent rate, based on the PSA's most recent Labor Force Survey.

PH Unemployment, underemployment rates rise in August

Fishing and aquaculture, construction, arts, entertainment and recreation, human health and social work activities as well as real estate activities registered the highest drop in employment compared to July, data showed.

Fishing and agriculture lost some 286,000 jobs in August which could be due to the bad weather and the rising costs of fuel, National Statistician Dennis Mapa said.

“Dalawa ang nakikita natin. Of course the weather. Pero diba ito ang tintatamaan ng pagtaas ng presyo ng diesel? Pwede maapektuhan ang kanilang pag labas dahil sa presyo ng diesel," Mapa said.

(There could be 2 reasons, of course the weather but some were hit by the rising prices of diesel. The prices of diesel could affect their movement)

"Lumalabas kami at ito ang reklamo ng commercial fisherfolks natin, sobrang taas ng presyo ng diesel kaya binabawasan nila ang paglabas," he added. 

(We went out and that's the concern of our fisherfolks, the elevated prices of diesel that's why they don't go out to fish that much)

Construction also lost 258,000 jobs, which could be due to higher costs of construction materials, Mapa said.

The underemployment rate, or the total number of workers who already have jobs but are still looking for more jobs or working hours, also climbed to 14.7 percent, which is equivalent to 7.03 million workers. 

This was higher than the 6.54 million underemployed in July 2022, with the underemployment rate at 13.8 percent. 

The PSA noted that unemployment and underemployment rates climbed despite more Filipinos getting jobs in August, as more Filipinos joined the job market.

There were 47.87 million Filipino workers who had jobs in August compared to 47.39 million in July 2022, data showed. 

Out of the total 47.87 million employed in August, the services sector had the highest share with 59.5 percent, followed by the agriculture and industry sectors with 22.6 percent 17.5 percent, PSA said.

Mapa said the employment rate usually increases during the last quarter due to seasonal activities linked to the holidays.

Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, transportation and storage, manufacturing, financial and insurance activities, as well as professional, scientific and technical activities registered the highest increase in employment in August compared to July, records showed.

-- with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News


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