A SLIGHT drop in the employment rate of Davao Region as of October 2017 was recorded based on the recent statistics released by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)-Davao.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and released by Dole showed that employment rate in Davao Region slightly dropped to 96 percent in October 2017 from 96.5 percent in the same period in 2016.

However, it can be noted that the employment rate in Davao Region is much higher than the national figure of 95 percent.

It can also be noted that based on the data released, employment rate in the region has increased steadily from January to October. January employment rate was at 94.1 percent; 95.1 percent in April; 95.3 percent in July; and 96 percent in October.

Despite the increase in employment rate in the region, underemployment rate increased to 21.2 percent in October 2017 from 14.6 percent in the same period in 2016.

The PSA said underemployed "refers to employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or an additional job, or a new job with longer working hours."

Unemployment also slightly increased to 4 percent from 3.5 percent.

Davao Region's labor force, which refers to the population 15 years old and over who contribute to the production of goods and services in the country, increased by 8 percent to 2.26 million in October 2017 from 2.09 million in the same period in 2016.

In Mindanao, Soccsksargen posted the highest employment rate at 96.6 percent. It is followed by Caraga (96.3 percent), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) (96.2 percent), Zamboanga Peninsula (95.7 percent), and Northern Mindanao (95.3 percent).

Meanwhile, Caraga recorded the highest rate of underemployment at 22.7 percent. It is followed by Davao Region (21.2 percent), Northern Mindanao (20.4 percent), Soccsksargen (14.6 percent), Zamboanga Peninsula (9.2 percent); and Armm (5.9 percent).