THE country’s employment rate stood at 95.5 percent in October 2022, the highest since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic broke in 2020, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.

The PSA said it indicates that the country’s employment rate has already bounced back to its level before the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said, as of October, the number of employed individuals in the country was estimated at 47.11 million, more than seven percent higher during the same period last year but slightly lower than the 47.58 million employed persons in September 2022.

The unemployment rate, on the other hand, has fallen back to pre-pandemic levels at 4.5 percent, which translates to around 2.4 million individuals.

“This is a decline of 1.26 million from the 3.50 million unemployed reported in October 2021, and lower by 256,000 compared to the 2.50 million unemployed in September 2022,” the PSA said.

It added that by region, six registered unemployment rates higher than the national rate of 4.5 percent in October 2022, namely, Central Visayas (5.8 percent), Calabarzon (5.7 percent), National Capital Region (5.6 percent), Mimaropa (5.2 percent), Western Visayas (5.1 percent), and Central Luzon (4.7 percent).

The labor force participation rate (LFPR) for the said month was registered at 64.2 percent or about 49.35 million Filipinos aged 15 and over who were either employed or unemployed.

The PSA said the LFPR was higher during the same month in 2021 but posted a month-on-month decrement of 732,000 individuals from the 50.08 million reported in September 2022.

It said the underemployed or employed persons who expressed 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 hours of work was recorded at 14.2 percent, which includes 6.67 million workers.

The average weekly working hours of an employed person in October 2022 increased to 40.2 hours from 39.6 hours in September.

In terms of year-on-year change, the top five sub-sectors with the highest increase in the number of employed persons over the past year were wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; transportation and storage; construction; accommodation and food service activities; and administrative and support service activities.

The agriculture and forestry, human health and social work activities and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities has the lowest number of employed individuals among the sub-sectors. (SunStar Philippines)