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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

Unemployment rises for 2nd straight month

The country's jobs situation worsened in July as unemployment and underemployment rose for a second month in a row, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.

In the wake of a second-quarter economic slowdown and the impact of recent storms, unemployment rose to 4.8 percent from 4.5 percent in June. It was, however, lower than the 5.2 percent recorded a year earlier.

Underemployment, which counts those looking for more work or an extra job, worsened to 15.9 percent from 12.9 percent a month earlier and the 13.8 percent seen in July last year.

The number of jobless Filipinos rose to an estimated 2.27 million, higher than June's 2.33 million but still an improvement from the year-earlier 2.6 million.

The underemployed, meanwhile, totaled 7.1 million, surging from 5.87 million in June and the 6.54 million estimated a year earlier.

The wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles sector was said to have recorded the highest decline in employment, at 1.97 million from July last year and worsening to 2.06 million reckoned from April 2023.

Agriculture and forestry followed with a drop of 1.58 million year on year and 1.03 million quarter on quarter.

The sector that posted the biggest gains in the number of employed persons from a year earlier was transportation and storage (337,000) while from April it was construction (195,000).

Services remained the biggest employer, accounting for 59.4 percent of those with jobs in July. Agriculture and industry followed with shares of 21.5 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

Wage and salary workers also comprised the bulk of the employed at 67.2 percent of the total.

Self-employed individuals without paid staff made up 25.2 percent while unpaid family laborers comprised 4.5 percent. Individuals serving as proprietors of family-operated farms or enterprises had the lowest share of 3.1 percent.

Those employed in private firms made up 53.4 percent of the total, followed by those working in the government or state-owned companies at 9.1 percent.

The country's Labor Force Participation Rate decreased to 60.1 percent from 65.2 percent a year earlier and June's 66.1 percent.

The latest jobs data prompted the National Economic and Development Authority to say that the government's priority was that of creating "high-quality and high-paying jobs to address the rising issue of vulnerable employment, particularly among self-employed and unpaid family workers."

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the government remained committed to improving the country's business environment, which would attract more investments.

"We will focus on expanding upskilling and retooling programs to improve the country's labor market performance," he added.

"These are critical to assisting members of the workforce, particularly those in vulnerable employment, to improve their employability and allowing them to move across industries and occupations," he added.

Commenting on the data, China Banking Corp. chief economist Domini Velasquez said the jobs picture worsened as "economic activities slowed down and this was not helped by recent typhoons, which led to job losses in agriculture."

Source: Manila Times

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