Jobs situation in January improved as unemployment, underemployment declined

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THE LATEST government labor data showed the ranks of Filipinos wanting more work decline as well as those who are jobless.

Preliminary results of the January 2019 round of the Labor Force Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority put the country’s unemployment rate at 5.2%, down from the 5.3% recorded in the same period last year.

This is equivalent to 2.20 million jobless Filipinos, down from 2.32 million in January 2018.

Likewise, the underemployment rate – the proportion of those already working, but still looking for more work or longer working hours – improved to 15.6% from 18%.

The size of the labor force was approximately 43.659 million out of the 72.524 million Filipinos 15 years and older for a participation rate of 60.2%, which declined from 62.2% a year ago.

The employment rate, which is the proportion of the employed to the total labor force – inched up to 94.8% in January from 94.7% the previous year.

By major economic sector, services made up a chunk of the employed population. In January, the employment rate in that sector improved to 58.1% from 55.9%.

The industry sector likewise saw its employment rate improve to 19.7% during the period from 18.1%.

Meanwhile, agriculture had an employment rate of 22.1%, down from 26%. — Carmina Angelica V. Olano