THE Philippine unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in April this year from 7 percent a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Tuesday.

The latest unemployment rate was equivalent to 2.681 million jobless Filipinos, the April Labor Force Survey showed.

Among the regions, the National Capital Region (9.3 percent), Ilocos Region (8.4 percent), Central Luzon (8 percent), and Calabarzon (7.9 percent) had unemployment rates higher than the national figure.

"Among the unemployed persons in April 2015, 63.1 percent were males. Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 50.4 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 30.1 percent. By educational attainment, 22.2 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 12.6 percent were college undergraduates, and 33.3 percent were high school graduates," PSA said.

Underemployment rate also plunged from 18.2 percent in April last year to 17.8 percent last April.

By definition, employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed.

The Palace welcomed the drop in both unemployment and underemployment rates.

"These encouraging figures reflect the results of the Aquino administration's investment in the Filipino people. Driven by our belief in the importance of individual advancement in the collective development of the nation, we continue to empower our citizens through improvements in health and education, among other sectors," Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.

"At the same time, we remain relentless in our push for reforms, cognizant that increased government efficiency and public trust lead to more investments—which will in turn bring about more and better opportunities for our countrymen. In all our activities, we in the administration remain focused on what’s best for the Filipino people, and will continue to strive toward greater heights for the benefit of current and future generations," he further said.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the figures validate the agency's optimism on the country's overall employment situation.

According to the report, figures for the April 5 and April 2015 surveys still exclude Leyte.

As a result of the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, a new sampling frame for Leyte has to be developed to account for the large number of displaced households. (SDR/Ma. Monica Padillo, UST intern/Sunnex)