Jobless rate eases to 4.4 percent in August

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

October 7, 2023 | 12:00am

Individuals queue at the quadrangle of Marikina City Hall to look for jobs on Labor Day, May 1, 2023.

Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s unemployment and underemployment rate both declined in August, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In a press conference yesterday, national statistician Dennis Mapa said results of the PSA’s Labor Force Survey showed the unemployment rate was at 4.4 percent in August, down from 4.8 percent in July 2023 and 5.3 percent in August last year.

This translated to 2.21 million jobless people in August – lower than the 2.27 million in July 2023 and the 2.68 million in August last year.

Underemployment rate in the country slid to 11.7 percent in August from 15.9 percent in the previous month, and 14.7 percent in August last year.

This means there were 5.63 million people looking for additional hours of work or additional jobs in August, lower than the 7.10 million in July this year and 7.03 million August last year.

Meanwhile, the country’s employment rate was at 95.6 percent in August, up from the previous month’s 95.2 percent, and 94.7 percent in August last year.

This is equivalent to 48.07 million employed people in August, higher than the 44.63 million in July 2023 and the 47.87 million in August 2022.

While unemployment and underemployment both declined in August, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the government would continue efforts to provide better job opportunities.

“To raise the quality of employment further, the Marcos administration is committed to exerting all efforts to shape an attractive business climate for investors who have the resources needed to bring in high-quality and high-paying jobs,” he said.

He said recent developments such as Congress’ approval of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act and the launch of the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD) 2023-2032 are expected to unlock opportunities in the labor market.

The PPP Act aims to provide a stable and predictable environment for collaboration between the public and private sectors by reducing transaction costs and improving the ease of doing business for PPPs.

“The PPP Act is a welcome development for investors as it clarifies long-standing ambiguities that have hindered the implementation of several projects that are expected to create better job opportunities,” Balisacan said.

Meanwhile, the NIASD 2023-2032, which was approved by the National Innovation Council chaired by President Marcos on June 30, and launched last month, contains strategies to improve innovation governance in the country.

“The NIASD will serve as the government’s blueprint for establishing a dynamic innovation ecosystem, comprising a Filipino workforce equipped with 21st century skills to enhance their employability,” Balisacan said.

The Marcos administration is “resolutely dedicated” to providing highquality and well-paying jobs for Filipinos, Malacañang said yesterday as it cited the drop in the unemployment rate.

In a statement, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said the government ensures that the Filipino workforce “not only survives but thrives in an evolving job market.”

The PCO cited the recently enacted Republic Act 11692 or the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act and the launching of the NIASD for 2023-2032, which are expected to create more employment opportunities.

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