Philippine unemployment rate drops to 5.4 pct in July


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The Philippine unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent in July, equivalent to about 2.335 million Filipinos, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Friday.

Unemployment rate in July last year was registered at 6.5 percent.

Among the unemployed persons, 60.7 percent were males. Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 48.2 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 28.2 percent, PSA’s Labor Force Survey (LFS) in July showed.

“By educational attainment, 21.9 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 14.4 percent were college undergraduates, and 28.1 percent were high school graduates,” PSA said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the unemployment rate in July was the lowest recorded for all July rounds in the past decade.

He said this “increases the likelihood of achieving the Philippine Development Plan target of 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent for 2016.”

Underemployment of Filipinos for July hit 17.3 percent compared to 21 percent during the same period last year, PSA said.

By definition, 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 are considered underemployed.

Meanwhile, Pernia said employment rate rose to 94.6 percent to reach 41 million employed.

He said the employment rate was higher than the results in all the previous July rounds of the LFS since 2011.

“Our growing economy, which is largely driven by output expansion in the services and industry sectors, has created more and better jobs,” he said.

The services sector remained the top employment contributor with a share of 55.3 percent of the total employed. Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group making up 26.9 percent of the total employed in July. The industry sector accounted for 17.8 percent of the total employed in July, driven largely by strong growth in manufacturing and construction.

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