PH unemployment rate rises anew

PH unemployment rate rises anew
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THE Philippines’ unemployment rate slightly went up to 4.5 percent in January 2024 from 3.1 percent in December 2023, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Friday, March 8, 2024.

In a press conference, PSA director Undersecretary Dennis Mapa said that as of January 2024, 2.15 million or at least 45 out of 1,000 Filipinos who are members of the country’s labor force are jobless.

The January 2024 unemployment rate is lower than the number recorded during the same month in 2023, but higher than that in October 2023, which was at 4.2 percent or 2.09 million individuals.

Mapa said the increase can be attributed to the end of seasonal demand in the labor market, which historically goes up during the last quarter of each year due to increased economic activities brought about by the holidays.

“Hindi ito unique sa ganung datos kasi October nakita natin last quarter diba marami tayong economic activities na nadagdag, particularly on retail trade so tumutulong ‘yung mga kasama sa bahay sa negosyo, stores, carenderia, may bazaar,” he said.

(Such data is not unique because we saw in October last quarter that we had a lot of economic activities, particularly on retail trade, so the people at home helped in the business, stores, carenderia, bazaar.)

The country’s labor force participation rate (LFPR), or the estimate of the economy’s active workforce, in January went down to 61.1 percent or 48.09 million from 63.9 percent or 49.89 million in October 2023.

It includes individuals 15 years old and above.

In December 2023, the LFPR was recorded at 66.6 percent or 52.13 million.

Mapa said the decrease in the LFPR was brought about by the decrease of those who are self-employed and the unpaid family workers who are usually joining the labor forces considering the economic activities during the holiday season.

“January, nawala na ang mga activities na ito…kaya nag off na sila sa labor force. Some goes back to household duties while the others go back to schooling,” he added.

Mapa noted, though, that wage and salary workers went up by 640,000 quarter-on-quarter.

The wage and salary workers continued to account for the largest share of employed persons, which is at a total of 45.94 million as of January 2024.

The top five sectors with the largest increase on employed persons quarter-on-quarter were fishing and aquaculture; transportation and storage; professional, scientific and technical activities; arts, entertainment and recreation; and mining and quarrying. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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