PH jobless rate improves in October


Posted at Dec 10 2014 03:59 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2014 05:35 PM

MANILA – The country’s unemployment rate eased in October as more people found jobs in the service and farming sectors.

The unemployment rate dropped to 6 percent in October, representing an estimated 2.5 million jobless Filipinos, slightly down from 2.6 million a year earlier using data adjusted to exclude Leyte province.

The statistics agency said the labor force participation rate was estimated at 64.3 percent, compared with 63.9 percent a year ago.

“The improved employment numbers also translated to better quality jobs as around 1.03 million of the total employment generated in October 2014 were considered full time. Consistent with this is the increase in remunerative wage and salary workers, particularly in private establishments,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

According to government data, 65 percent of the unemployed were males. Around 33 percent were high school graduates; 21.6 percent were college graduates; and 13.5 percent were college undergraduates.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate reached its highest level in over a year at 18.7 percent. There were 7.3 million underemployed in October, more than the 6.8 million in October last year.

Underemployment refers to those who already have jobs but are looking for more work.

Nearly 60 percent of the underemployed worked for less than 40 hours a week. Most of the underemployed worked in the services and agriculture sectors.

“Challenges to uplift the quality of employment across sectors remain. Hence, the government needs to sustain the implementation of multidimensional approach to raise investments, particularly in the rural areas, and improve productivity as well as income per capita in the country. It is also important to encourage income diversification and labor mobility in and out of agriculture,” said Balisacan.

Of the estimated 38.8 million people employed in October, more than half were in the services sector, about 31 percent in agriculture and the rest were in industry. -- With Reuters