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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Underemployment Rate Decreases

The quality of jobs for Filipinos continues to improve as the country's underemployment rate decreased to 10.7 percent in September 2023, the lowest figure ever recorded since the earliest available data starting in April 2005.


The employment rate for September 2023 stood at 95.5 percent, higher than the 95.0 percent posted in the same period last year but slightly lower than the 95.6 percent recorded in August 2023. I Photo: Philippine Information Agency



The latest underemployment figure is significantly lower than the pre-pandemic level of 14.8 percent and the 15.4 percent recorded in September 2022, as well as the 11.7 percent in August 2023.


This development is supported by the significant contribution of the more remunerative class of work to employment generation.



The number of wage and salary workers increased by 1.3 million year-on-year, particularly coming from private establishments.


Meanwhile, the unemployment rate improved to 4.5 percent in September 2023 from 5.0 percent in the same month last year but slightly inched up from 4.4 percent in August 2023. Year-to-date (YTD), the unemployment rate averaged at 4.6 percent.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

"President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s ultimate goal is to bring down unemployment to 4 to 5 percent in 2028. Right now, the year-to-date unemployment rate is at 4.6 percent, way below the 5.3 to 6.4 percent target for 2023," Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.


The employment rate for September 2023 stood at 95.5 percent, higher than the 95.0 percent posted in the same period last year but slightly lower than the 95.6 percent recorded in August 2023.


Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

The labor force participation rate (LFPR) was recorded at 64.1 percent in September 2023, slightly lower than LFPRs of 65.2 percent and 64.7 percent for September 2022 and August 2023, respectively.


The services sector continued to take the top spot in terms of employment with a share of 60.4 percent in September 2023, followed by Agriculture (21.5 percent) and Industry (18.1 percent).


Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

In terms of sub-sectors, the following recorded annual increases in the number of employed persons: accommodation and food service activities (608,000); administrative and support service activities (535,000); construction (481,000); transportation and storage (255,000); and fishing and aquaculture (193,000).


However, employment losses versus the prior year were experienced in manufacturing (-888,000), wholesale and retail trade (-722,000), and agriculture and forestry (-649,000).


Entrepreneurship: Business woman smiling, working and reading from mobile phone In front of laptop in the financial district.

The manufacturing sector experienced a decline in new orders from abroad for the first time in nine months.


Moreover, the decline in agriculture and forestry employment stemmed from recent weather disturbances, which disrupted various economic activities in the agricultural sector, partly driving the decrease in employment opportunities.


Banking & finance: Business man in suit and tie working on his laptop and holding his mobile phone in the office located in the financial district.

In terms of youth unemployment, the rate increased to 13.1 percent in September 2023, from 11.5 percent in the same period last year and 12.2 percent in August 2023. Nevertheless, the youth underemployment rate considerably improved to 9.1 percent from 12.1 percent in the same period last year and 9.7 percent in August 2023.


This was also an improvement from 12.5 percent during the pre-pandemic period.


Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

Youth LFPR decreased to 33.1 percent from 36.7 percent a year ago and 34.9 percent in the previous month due to the return to schooling of most youth learners.


"The Philippine economy continues to maintain generally good labor and employment conditions as most of the major indicators improved relative to the same period a year ago," Finance Secretary Diokno said.




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