The Philippines enjoys a lower unemployment rate than the United States, which registered at 8.3 percent in January, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr.
He attributed this to the character of our economy, which is different from those of developed nations.
“In the Philippines, there are many jobs that ordinarily would not be thought of as work in developed countries,” Paderanga explained in a statement.
“Our problem, however, is that many of the employed are working in the informal sector, where the income levels are really quite low. We would like to produce more work in the formal sector,” he added.
Results of the January Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the National Statistics Office (NSO) show that more than half or 52.7 percent (some 21.2 million) of those employed are working in the services sector.
The largest employed workforce in the services sector—representing 7.8 million or 19.3 percent of total employed—were in wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles.
Workers in the agriculture sector numbered 13.1 million, representing 32.6 percent of those employed. The industry sector engaged 5.9 million workers or 17.4 percent of total.
Paderanga said earlier this month that the improved performance of the labor market in 2011 bolsters the optimism for a better economy this year.
He said that in 2011, a total of 1.156 million Filipinos joined the ranks of the employed, “largely on the strength of the continued growth in services and the recovery in agriculture, although there was a slowdown in the industry sector.”
The number of jobless Filipinos remained at about 2.9 million as of January, but the unemployment rate eased to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent in the same month of 2011, the NSO said Thursday.
This is due to similar growth of the labor force—or the number of people 15 years and older who have jobs or are looking for jobs or additional work—and the number of those who are employed.