Data shows unemployment eased by 6 percent, lowest in 10 years

By , on December 13, 2014

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MANILA – Recent data showed that the number of employable Filipinos without jobs went down to 6 percent last October – the lowest number in almost a decade as the current administration claimed to have produced more “quality” jobs.

On Wednesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released data showing that the country’s unemployment rate went down based on the results of the October 2014 Labor Force Survey.

The said survey showed that more Filipinos were employed this year in October from 93.6 percent during the same period in 2013.

This was “the lowest recorded since April 2005,” according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

However, data from Leyte province were not covered. It can be recalled that Leyte was one of the most affected provinces when super typhoon “Yolanda” entered the country. This resulted to loss of jobs in the said area.

According to NEDA, the October survey showed that the number of employed Filipinos increased by 2.8 percent, from 37.8 million last year to 38.8 million this year. Thus, more than one million jobs were generated.

More than the numbers, the quality of available jobs also improved, said Socioplanning Economic Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

“The improved employment numbers also translated to better quality jobs as around 1.03 million of the total employment generated in October 2014 were considered full time. Consistent with this is the increase in remunerative wage and salary workers, particularly in private establishments,” said Balisacan, who also serves as NEDA’s Director-General.

The services sector is the top jobs generator, adding 675,000 workers to cover 53.7 percent of employment in the country. Agriculture and industry closely followed.

“With the broad-based growth in employment, we are provided an optimistic outlook on the country’s economic performance in the fourth quarter of 2014,” Balisacan said.

However, PSA data showed that underemployed or those “who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours” increased from 18 percent in 2013 to 18.7 percent last October. This goes to show that there are 7.3 million underemployed Filipinos.

“Challenges to uplift the quality of employment across sectors remain. Hence, the government needs to sustain the implementation of multidimensional approach to raise investments, particularly in the rural areas, and improve productivity as well as income per capita in the country. It is also important to encourage income diversification and labor mobility in and out of agriculture,” Balisacan said.