More jobs in July, but job quality declines

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Mixed readings were observed in the government’s latest labor data as unemployment eased but those wanting more work increased.

Preliminary results of the July 2018 round of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Labor Force Survey put the country’s unemployment rate at 5.4%, down from the 5.6% recorded in the same period last year. This is equivalent to 2.323 million jobless Filipinos from 2.373 million a year ago.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate – the proportion of those already working, but still looking for more work or longer working hours – worsened to 17.2% from 16.3%.

The size of the labor force was approximately 43.008 million out of the 71.560 million population of Filipinos 15 years and older for a participation rate of 60.1%, which declined from 60.6% a year ago.

By industry, the employment rate in the service sector, which made up a chunk of the employed population, increased to 57.5% from 55.6% in the same period last year.

Employment in the industry sector, meanwhile, slightly improved to 19.4% from 19.2%.

On the other hand, employment in agriculture fell to 23.1% from 25.2%. – Jochebed B. Gonzales