THE RANKS of jobless Filipinos and those employed but wanting more work increased in June, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported earlier this morning.

Preliminary results of PSA’s June 2021 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) showed around 3.764 million unemployed Filipinos, up from 3.730 million in May.

Unemployment rate registered at 7.7% in June, unchanged from the previous month. The rise in unemployment despite a steady jobless rate can be explained by the increase in the participation rate, which indicates more Filipinos have entered the labor force.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate — the proportion of those already working, but still looking for more work or longer working hours — worsened to 14.2% in June from 12.3% in May. This translates to 6.409 million underemployed Filipinos, up from 5.492 million in the preceding survey round.

The size of the labor force was approximately 48.840 million in June, up from 48.446 million in May. This brought the labor force participation rate to 65% of the country’s working-age population in June from 64.6% the previous month.

The employment rate remained steady at 92.3% in June. In absolute terms, however, the number of employed Filipinos went up to 45.075 million in June from 44.716 million previously.

The service sector made up 57.6% of total employment in June, slightly down from the 57.8% cited in May. The industry sector likewise saw its employment rate go down to 18.1% during the period from 18.4%.

Meanwhile, agriculture had an employment rate of 24.3%, up from 23.8%. — Bernadette Therese M. Gadon