Unemployment rate falls in January

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Unemployment fell in January, the government reported this morning.

The preliminary results of the January 2018 round of Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the unemployment rate stood at 5.3%, lower than 6.6% a year ago.

This is equivalent to 2.32 million Filipinos, down from 2.761 million in January 2017.

Employment rate – the proportion of the employed to the total labor force – went up to 94.7% from 93.4%.

By major economic sector, employment rate in the services sector, which has the largest share in the employed population, decreased to 55.9% from 57.1%. Agriculture – the second largest group – went up to 26% from 25.5% last year. Industry sector rose to 18.1% from 17.4%.

Full-time workers – those who worked for up to 40 hours or more in a week – decreased to 63.6% from 64.8% in 2017. Part-time workers accounted for 35.2%.

The January round of LFS also revealed that the average working hours per week was at 40.6 hours, down from 41.3 hours a year ago.

Underemployment – the proportion of those already working but still looking for more work or longer working hours – worsened to 18.0% from 16.3% in 2017.

As of January, labor force participation rate was at 62.2%, up from 60.7%. The size of the labor force was approximately 70.897 million population of Filipinos 15 years and older. — Mark T. Amoguis