Jobs market remains strong: February 2023 unemployment rate is steady at 4.8%

The February 2023 unemployment rate stood at 4.8 percent, significantly down from the 6.4 percent recorded in the same period in 2022.

More Filipinos have joined the workforce. The February labor force participation rate (LFPR) was 66.6 percent, up from previous month’s 64.5 percent and February 2022 LFPR of 63.8 percent.

Employment rate also retained its previous month’s rate of 95.2 percent, higher than the 93.6 percent recorded in the year before.

Youth employment rate improved to 90.9 percent, higher than the 89.2 percent in January 2023 and the 85.7 percent in February 2022.

Meanwhile, 6.29 million individuals expressed the desire to have additional jobs or work hours. This translates to an underemployment rate of 12.9 percent, which is lower than the 14.0 percent in February 2022 and the 14.1 percent in January 2023.

By worker classification, wage and salary workers had the largest share in employment with 60.9 percent of the total employed population. This was followed by those self-employed with a 27.2 percent share in employment.

By major sectors, Services continued to dominate the labor market with a 59.6-percent share of employment. This was followed by Agriculture and Industry at 24.1 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively.

For full-year 2023, the government targets to achieve an unemployment rate of 5.3 to 6.4 percent. To this end, employment generating policies will be implemented as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 for economic and social transformation.

The government will continue to work on improvements to business regulations and bureaucratic efficiency and leverage on game-changing reforms such as the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), Foreign Investment Act (FIA), and Public Service Act (PSA) to encourage investments, promote better quality jobs, and accelerate economic growth.