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Jobless rate dips to 4.4% in August

Unemployment eased to 4.4 percent in August from 4.8 percent a month earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported.


The rate — also lower than the 5.3 percent posted in August of last year — was estimated to be equivalent to 2.21 million Filipinos without jobs, less than July's 2.27 million and the 2.68 million in August of last year.

Underemployment — which counts those looking for more work or an extra job — also improved to 11.7 percent from 15.9 percent in July but was higher than August 2022's 14.7 percent.


The underemployed were said to number 5.63 million. These are people "who have expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional jobs, or to have a new job with long hours of work."


Employment, at 95.6 percent in August, rose from 95.2 percent in the previous month and the year-earlier 94.7 percent.


The number of individuals with jobs reached 48.07 million, as opposed to 44.63 million in July. The figure last year was 47.87 million.


The service sector remained the biggest employer, accounting for 3.0 percent of the total employed in August. Agriculture and the industry followed with shares of 24.5 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.


Wage and salary workers comprised 62.6 percent of employed individuals, followed by the self-employed (27.3 percent) and unpaid family workers (8.0 percent). Employers in family businesses had the smallest share at 2.1 percent.


Among wage and salary workers, those in private establishments were the largest group (49.2 percent), followed by those in government or government-controlled corporations (8.7 percent).


The country's Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 64.7 percent from 60.1 percent in July but was lower than the 66.1 percent a year earlier.


Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, in a separate statement, said the government would continue efforts to boost growth and quality job creation amid economic headwinds.


"To raise the quality of employment further, the Marcos administration is committed to exerting all efforts to shape an attractive business climate for investors with the resources needed to bring in high-quality and high-paying jobs," he added.


Balisacan noted that the recent Senate approval of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act and the launch of the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD) 2023-2032 were expected to create more opportunities in the domestic job market.


"The PPP Act is a welcome development for investors as it clarifies long-standing ambiguities that have hindered the implementation of several projects crucial to creating better job opportunities," he added.


"Meanwhile, the NIASD will serve as the government's blueprint for establishing a dynamic innovation ecosystem, comprising a Filipino workforce equipped with 21st-century skills to enhance their employability."


Source: Manila Times

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