PSA: Jobless rate posted new record-low in December

PSA: Jobless rate posted new record-low in December

PHOTO: Jobseekers at a job fair. STORY: PSA: Jobless rate posted new record-low in December

A woman goes to a job fair in Marikina City. (File photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The ranks of unemployed Filipinos sank to another record-low in the final month of 2023, extending a downtrend that is expected to last until the seasonal boost from the holiday rush eventually fades later in the year.

A nationwide survey of 11,164 households showed there were 1.60 million Filipinos who were either jobless or out of business in December, lower than the 1.83 million unemployed persons recorded in the previous month, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday.


This translated into an unemployment rate of 3.1 percent, the lowest reading since the PSA followed international recommendations by adopting a new definition of “unemployed persons” in 2005. The figure broke the previous record-low jobless rate of 3.6 percent in November 2023.


At a press conference, National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said the Christmas shopping season continued to provide a wealth of seasonal jobs in December. Historically, workers get to retain those jobs until the first quarter, he added.

”Last quarter, there really is a seasonality so normally there is a spike in the number because of additional [employed] workers especially in the services sector,” Mapa said.

Temporary demand

Ruben Carlo Asuncion, chief economist at Union Bank of the Philippines, agreed with Mapa.

”We know that the holiday demand has something to do with this lowest jobless rate … [The] January numbers will be telling us if this will hold up which, historically, is not usually the case. Nonetheless, we will have to wait,” Asuncion said.

Mapa also said there seemed to be an “improvement in the confidence” of those who were part of the country’s labor force, which represents people 15 years old and above who actively looked for a job during a period.

Data showed the drop in unemployment coincided with an increase in the size of the labor force to 52.13 million in December, from 51.47 million in November. That translated into a labor force participation rate of 66.6 percent in December, from 65.9 percent previously.


READ: PH jobless rate eased to record low of 3.1% in Dec. 2023

READ: IBON: Millions of jobless Filipinos are possibly excluded in gov’t statistics

The PSA chief said the number of respondents who quit job hunting because they believed no work was available for them declined to 93,000 in December 2023, from 116,000 a year ago.

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At the same time, the number of those waiting for the results of their pending job applications — which may or may not translate into actual employment in the future — jumped to 162,000 in December, from 69,000 in the same month in 2022.

TAGS: Philippine Statistics Authority, unemployment rate

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