MANILA -- The number of unemployed Filipinos in January eased a bit to 2.83 million, slightly lower than the 2.85 million estimate in 2009, the government reported Tuesday.

The preliminary results of the National Statistics Office's (NSO) Labor Force Survey showed that the unemployment rate in January dipped to 7.3 percent from 7.7 percent posted in the same period last year.

Thus, the employment rate now stands at 92.7 percent from 92.3 percent a year ago with some 1.7 million jobs created since January last year.

Across regions, National Capital Region recorded the highest unemployment rate in January at 10.8 percent, followed by Calabarzon (9.5 percent) and Central Luzon (9 percent).

Cagayan Valley, which is now suffering from the effects of El Nino phenomenon, reported the lowest unemployment rate of 3 percent. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)