THE country’s unemployment rate has come down nearer to prepandemic levels, but the economy still needs to create over 600,000 jobs, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
On Thursday, National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said the unemployment rate was at 5.2 percent, the lowest since the prepandemic level of 4.5 percent in 2019.
PSA data showed the number of unemployed persons declined to 2.6 million in July 2022, from 3.23 million in July 2021. Mapa said a total of 640,000 jobs still need to be created to get back to pre-pandemic levels.
“The number of unemployed persons in July 2022 resulted to an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, which was the lowest reported unemployment rate from January to July 2022 and the lowest of all July rounds since 2005. In June 2022, the number of unemployed persons was estimated at 2.99 million,” PSA explained.Mapa explained that in January to July this year, a total of 2.9 million Filipinos were unemployed.
In the full year of 2019, there were 2.26 million. In 2021, the number of unemployed Filipinos reached 3.7 million and in 2020, 4.5 million.Meanwhile, underemployed persons were estimated at 6.54 million in July 2022. This was lower than the 8.77 million underemployed persons reported in July 2021, but higher than the 5.89 million estimate in June 2022.
Underemployment rate was placed at 13.8 percent in July 2022, from a high rate of 21 percent in the same period last year. The underemployment rate in July 2022 was, however, higher than the 12.6 percent underemployment rate reported in the previous month.
“Underemployed persons are employed persons who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have an additional job, or to have a new job with longer hours of work,” PSA explained.Visible underemployment rate, or the proportion of employed persons working less than 40 hours in a week, was estimated at 9 percent in July 2022.
This is lower than the estimated rates in the same month last year at 11 percent and in April 2022 at 9.2 percent, but higher than the recorded rate in June 2022 of 8.5 percent.
Among regions, five of the country’s 17 regions registered unemployment rates that were higher than the national estimates of 5.2 percent in July 2022.These were National Capital Region (NCR) at 6.9 percent; Region IV-A (Calabarzon) at 6.3 percent; Region VI (Western Visayas), 6 percent; Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), 5.6 percent; and Region X (Northern Mindanao), 5.3 percent.