THE Philippines' unemployment rate increased in July to 5.6 percent or which means 2.373 million Filipinos were unemployed during the period, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Tuesday.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia raised concern over the unemployment rate, which was higher than the 5.4 percent unemployment rate recorded in July last year.
"The government is concerned over loss in employment and vows to improve the situation," said Pernia, also director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), which oversees PSA.
The employment rate in July was estimated at 94.4 percent, slightly lower than the 94.6 percent in July last year, according to PSA's Labor Force Survey.
The regions with the highest unemployment rates were Ilocos Region (8.2 percent), National Capital Region (NCR) (7.9 percent) and Central Luzon (7.1 percent), the statistics office said.
Among the unemployed persons in July, 64 percent were males.
"Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 49.3 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 29.7 percent. By educational attainment, 21.3 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 14.5 percent were college undergraduates, and 33.1 percent have completed junior high school," PSA said.
Pernia expressed hope that more jobs will be created with some of the government's 75 flagship projects commencing soon.
Around 1.1 million new jobs are expected to be created every year, he said.
Underemployment, on the other hand, declined to 16.3 percent in July from 17.3 percent a year ago, PSA said.
Considered underemployed are employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have an additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours. (SDR/SunStar Philippines)