PSA says 3.8M Filipinos jobless as of October
MANILA, Philippines — Around 3.8 million Filipinos aged 15 years old and above are unemployed as of October this year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
PSA said this is equivalent to an 8.7 percent unemployment rate in October, which is slightly lower than the 10 percent recorded in July and 17.6 percent in April this year.
However, it is still higher than the 4.6 percent unemployment rate recorded in October 2019.
Metro Manila had the highest unemployment rate at 12.4 percent, followed by Ilocos Region at 11.5 percent, and Calabarzon at 11 percent.
Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate (LFPR) in October 2020 was 58.7 percent, or 43.6 million Filipinos reported as either employed or unemployed.
“This is the second-lowest LFPR reported in the history of the Philippine labor market following the record low of 55.7 percent reported in April 2020,” PSA said in its report released Thursday.
In October 2019, the LFPR was posted at 61.4 percent or 44.6 million Filipinos.
The employment rate in October this year was reported at 91.3 percent, or equivalent to about 39.8 million employed Filipinos out of the 43.6 million who were in the labor force.
PSA said this employment rate was the highest since April 2020. In October 2019, the employment rate was estimated at 95.4 percent or 42.5 million employed persons.
The LFPR was also lower among women at 45 percent compared to men at 72.3 percent.
Employment rates for men and women were reported at 91.3 percent and 91.1 percent, respectively. However, the underemployment rate was higher in men at 15.9 percent than in women at 12 percent.
Meanwhile, the underemployment rate covering those in the labor force who wanted additional working hours to earn more money also eased to 14.4 percent (5.7 million) in October from 17.3 percent (7.1 million) in July, 18.9 percent (6.4 million) in April, and 14.8 percent (6.3 million) in January.
On the other hand, the LFPR among the youth was posted at 33.9 percent or about 6.8 million youth in October 2020.
PSA said this is lower than the reported 38.9 percent in July but higher than the 32.4 percent in April. In October 2019, the youth LFPR was at 37.1 percent.
Compared to October last year, this year’s unemployment rate was higher than 4.6 percent a year ago or 2 million jobless individuals six months before the pandemic spilled to the Philippines.
As some students who belonged to the labor force — Filipinos 15 years old and above — returned to school in October, the labor force population declined to 43.6 million from 45.9 million a quarter ago and 44.6 million a year ago, Mapa said.
Meanwhile, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the stringent lockdown it wrought shuttered thousands of businesses, about 4.5 million Filipinos have been rendered jobless this year and the unemployment rate jumped to 10.4 percent — the highest in 15 years, the government reported Thursday.
The jobless rate in October was below the 10 percent (equivalent to 4.6 million Filipinos without jobs) in July and 17.6 percent (7.2 million jobless Filipinos) in April — the highest-ever quarterly unemployment rate no thanks to the strict enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in areas with high COVID-19 cases from mid-March to May, which stopped 75 percent of the economy.
But the participation rate among members of the labor force also dropped to 58.7 percent last October from 61.9 percent during the previous quarter and 61.4 percent last year.
As quarantine restrictions gradually eased and the economy further opened up to enjoin workers to return to their jobs, the jobless rate also eased to 8.7 percent in October, National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa told a press conference, citing the latest preliminary results of the PSA’s quarterly LFS.
Mapa said the October employment data already covered seasonal jobs, including those that were usually made available ahead of the Christmas holiday season, although he could not say if there remained ample part-time jobs given some quarantine restrictions still in place.
In October, the sectors which posted the biggest year-on-year fall in employment were arts, entertainment, and recreation (down 38.2 percent to 214,000); accommodation and food service activities (down 33.2 percent to 1.34 million); real estate activities (down 25.7 percent to 176,000); transportation and storage (down 18.9 percent to 2.82 million); and manufacturing (down 17 percent to 3.03 million).
On the other hand, the following sectors had more workers in October compared to a year ago: water supply, sewerage, waste management, and remediation activities; fishing and aquaculture; education; information and communication; administrative and support service activities; as well as human health and social work activities.
Amid easing quarantine, 65.9 percent of the employed were already working 40 hours or more in October, up from 56.1 percent in July and 29.1 percent in April although lower than the 69.3 percent in October last year.
The employed worked an average of 40.8 hours last October, up from 38.2 hours in July and 35 hours in April but down from 42 hours last year before the pandemic struck.
For those who have jobs but not at work, most of them or 38.2 percent attributed their current working conditions to the COVID-19 quarantine.
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