PSA: Seasonal jobs cut unemployment in October
There were fewer unemployed Filipinos recorded in October as the wealth of seasonal jobs created at the onset of the holiday season started absorbing more workers, including the new entrants to the country’s workforce, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a report on Thursday.
A nationwide survey of 44,499 households showed there were 2.09 million Filipinos who were either jobless or out of business in October, down from 2.26 million recorded in September, the report added.
That was equivalent to an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent slightly down from 4.5 percent in the previous month.
The dip in joblessness coincided with a decline in the number of jobseekers in October. Data showed 49.89 million Filipinos formed part of the nation’s labor force, which represents people age 15 years old and above who actively looked for work during a period.
That was smaller than the 49.93 million labor force size recorded in September, but bigger than the 49.30 million posted a year ago.
This brought the labor force participation rate to 63.9 percent in October, down from 64.1 percent in the previous month.
At a press conference, National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said the seasonal jobs created by the holiday season helped job hunters find work.
On an annual basis, accommodation and food service activities posted the largest increase in employment in October after adding 291,000 jobs. This was followed by jobs engaged in administrative and support service as well as transportation and storage.
“October being the first month of the last quarter, we always see additional economic activities during the holiday season. And that absorbed many of those in the labor force, including the new entrants,” Mapa said.
Job quality down
With the jobless rate fluctuating around the mid-4 percent range since falling to a low of 4.3 percent in May, some analysts believe the recovery of the local labor market from the pandemic onslaught has shown no material progress ever since.
Worse, despite the dip in the jobless rate, data showed the quality of available jobs deteriorated in October.