MANILA - The number of employed Filipinos increased in January as most sectors created more jobs on the back of sustained economic growth, the government reported yesterday.
The Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that employment rate surged to 94.7 percent in January 2018 from 93.4 percent during the same period last year, equivalent to 41.8 million Filipinos, the highest in all of the previous January rounds of the LFS since 2009.
“These improvements in the labor market indicate that more Filipinos are encouraged to join and re-join the labor force, and that more people are being employed. This signals that the economy is responding positively to the economic reforms and programs that the government has been laying down,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.
The services sector remained the top employment contributor with a share of 55.9 percent, increasing by 3.8 percent despite the downbeat business outlook of firms for the first quarter.
Employment in agriculture grew by 8.4 percentage points to 26 percent employment share, employing an additional 841,000 workers.
The industry sector employed an additional 719,000 workers after expanding by 10.5 percentage points to 18.1 percent in January 2018, led by the increase in employment in construction and manufacturing.
“More jobs are expected to be created during the country’s infrastructure build up, which will not only ease traffic and promote regional development but also generate more quality jobs,” Pernia said.
The LFS indicated the country’s unemployment rate thus dropped from 6.6 percent last year to 5.3 percent in January 2018, representing 2.3 million Filipino unemployed. This is the lowest rate recorded for all January rounds of the LFS in the past decade.
Underemployment rate, however, increased to 18 percent from 16.3 percent, or about 7.5 million Filipinos compared to the previous year's 6.4 million.
Underemployed are those employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours.*PNA
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