PHILIPPINE unemployment rate hit 7 percent in April this year, much lower compared to 7.6 percent a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Tuesday.

The April unemployment rate, which did not include Leyte, worst hit province by typhoon "Yolanda" last November, was equivalent to 2.924 million Filipinos with no job, according to the latest Labor Force Survey (LFS).

Among the regions, the National Capital Region (10.4 percent), Ilocos Region (9.2 percent), Central Luzon (8.6 percent) and Calabarzon (9.0 percent) had unemployment rates higher than the national figure.

Among the unemployed persons in April 2014, 61.7 percent were males. Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 49.8 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 30.5 percent. By educational attainment, one-fifth (22.4 percent) of the unemployed were college graduates, 14.5 percent were college undergraduates, and 32.7 percent were high school graduates.

Underemployment also slowed down to 18.2 percent from 19.2 percent over the same period.

Underemployed persons who work for less than 40 hours in a week are called visibly underemployed persons.

Meanwhile, Malacanang on Tuesday expressed confidence that the country would register a higher gross domestic product (GDP) in the later part of the year, as unemployment rate decreased during the second quarter.

"We share the optimism that these positive indicators bode well for a higher GDP growth rate in the succeeding quarters," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a press briefing.

"This growth has brought about a total of 1.7 million additional employed persons. According to Neda (National Economic and Development Authority) Secretary (Arsenio) Balisacan, the improvement in employment is broad-based, covering agriculture, industry, and the services sectors," Coloma added.

The Philippines' GDP for the first quarter of the year was registered at 5.7 percent. (SDR/Sunnex)