Better quality jobs increasing, PSA says
The unemployment rate in the Philippines increased slightly to an estimated 4.3 percent in December 2022 from 4.2 percent in November, but officials noted that the latest labor survey showed that those who are employed work longer and get more income, which translates to better-quality work.
According to preliminary data of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there were 2.2 million working-age Filipinos who were available for work and were actively looking for jobs in December, 43,000 more than the 2.18 million jobseekers in November.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa, who heads the PSA, said in a briefing that “the difference between the December and November figures is not significantly different.”
But the data showed a much better job market than in 2022 when there were 3.28 million unemployed, or 1.06 million more in December 2021. Back then, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.
Longer work hours
Mapa said that what was more notable in the latest survey result was that those who do have jobs have better-quality work, particularly in terms of longer work hours per week, which meant more income for them.
In December, 65 percent of those employed were working at least 40 hours per week, more than the 62.7 percent in November.
For 2022, the jobless rate was pegged at 5.4 percent, with 2.67 million Filipinos without work. This was an improvement from 7.8 percent in 2021 when there were 3.7 million jobless.
Unemployment was worst in 2020 at the height of the pandemic when 10.4 percent of Filipinos 15 years and older who were available to work—3.7 million of them—failed to get a job.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the government remained committed to providing “more, better and green job opportunities” to Filipinos, especially through the recently approved Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
“Alongside providing high-quality jobs, we must ensure that their skills are not just aligned with current in-demand requirements but can also continuously keep up with the demands of evolving and emerging jobs,” Balisacan added.
Balisacan noted that the top employment contributors in December 2022 include wholesale and retail trade, other service activities, and accommodation and food service activities, which were boosted by the full resumption of commercial activities, pent-up demand and holiday spending.
However, these were tempered by losses in agriculture due to weather disturbances and the spread of infectious diseases among livestock and poultry.
“Generating more and high-quality jobs in the agriculture sector and ensuring food security for Filipinos remain part of our top priorities,” he said.
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