THE country’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent in August 2023 from 5.3 percent in the same month last year. In the previous month, the unemployment rate was posted at 4.8 percent. In terms of magnitude, there were 2.21 million unemployed Filipinos aged 15 years and over in August 2023.
The number of employed persons aged 15 years and over in August 2023 increased to 48.07 million from 47.87 million in August 2022. This translates to 95.6 percent employment rate, higher than the reported employment rate in August 2022 and July 2023 at 94.7 percent and 95.2 percent, respectively.
The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in August 2023 was posted at 64.7 percent. This was lower than the 66.1 percent reported LFPR in August 2022, but higher than the 60.1 percent LFPR in July 2023.
The number of underemployed persons was recorded at 5.63 million out of the total 48.07 million employed individuals. This translates to an underemployment rate of 11.7 percent in August 2023. The underemployment rate in August 2023 was lower than the reported rate in August 2022 (14.7%) and July 2023 (15.9%). Underemployed persons are those 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 .
Visible underemployment rate or the proportion of underemployed persons working less than 40 hours in a week was posted at 7.5 percent in August 2023. On the other hand, invisible underemployment rate or the proportion of underemployed persons working at least 40 hours a week was placed at 4.2 %.
The average weekly hours worked of an employed person in August 2023 was 40.8 hours. This was higher than the average weekly hours worked in August 2022 (40.5 hours), but lower than the average weekly hours worked in July 2023 (42.3 hours). By broad industry group, the services sector remained as the top sector in terms of the number of employed persons with a share of 3 percent to the total employed persons in August 2023. The agriculture and the industry sectors accounted for 24.5 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.
The top five sub-sectors in terms of annual increase in the number of employed persons in August 2023 were the following: Fishing and aquaculture 572 , 000; Construction 534,000; Agriculture and forestry 378 ,000, Human health and social work activities 153,000 ;Administrative and support service activities 143,000 .
In contrast, the following five sub-sectors had the highest annual drop in the number of employed persons: Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles P1.21 million; Public administration and defense; compulsory social security 228,000 ; Financial and insurance activities 197,000 ; Information and communication 134,000; and Mining and quarrying 89,000 .
Wage and salary workers continued to account for the largest share of employed persons with 62.6 percent of the total employed persons in August 2023. This was followed by self-employed persons without any paid employee at 27.3 percent and unpaid family workers at 8.0 percent. Employers in own family-operated farm or business had the lowest share of 2.1 % .
Among wage and salary workers, those employed in private establishments remained the highest group with 49.2 percent share, followed by those employed in government or government-controlled corporations with 8.7 % share.
Between men and women, LFPR among men was higher at 76.3 percent than among women at 52.9 percent. Likewise, men (96.0%) had higher employment rate than women (95.1%). Furthermore, men had higher underemployment rate (13.1%) than women (9.7%).
Youth LFPR in August 2023 was estimated at 34.9 percent. This was lower than the recorded youth LFPR in August last year at 38.0 % but higher than youth LFPR in July 2023 at 29.6 %.
Youth underemployment rate in August 2023 dropped to 9.7 percent from 12.5 percent in August 2022 and 14.8 percent in July 2023.