PH labor market continues to improve

The Philippines’ labor market continues to improve with its unemployment rate reaching the lowest level since 2005 at 3.6 percent in November 2023.

The latest unemployment figure translates to 1.83 million unemployed persons, significantly lower than the reported number of 2.18 million in November 2022 and 2.09 million in October 2023.

Year-to-date (YTD) unemployment rate averaged 4.5 percent, way below the 5.3 to 6.4 percent target for 2023 as specified in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.

“We are confident that our unemployment numbers will only continue to improve as the Marcos, Jr. administration continues to implement its comprehensive strategy in employment and investments generation. I believe we have what it takes to achieve the President’s goal of bringing down the Philippines’ unemployment rate to 4 to 5 percent, or even better, by 2028,” Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.

The underemployment rate in November 2023 was maintained at 11.7 percent, lower than November 2022 which was at 14.4 percent and the same as the previous month.

Meanwhile, the employment rate in November 2023 soared to 96.4 percent, from 95.8 percent in both November 2022 and October 2023.

This translates to 49.6 million employed individuals in November 2023, slightly lower than the November 2022 employed individuals at 49.71 million, but higher than 47.80 million in October 2023.

Wage and salary workers made up 61.5 percent of the total employed persons, followed by those who are self-employed at 28.6 percent and unpaid family workers at 8.0 percent.

By share of employment, the services sector made up 59.5 percent of the total employed persons. This was followed by agriculture (24.6 percent) and industry (15.9 percent).

The labor force participation rate (LFPR) in November 2023 was registered at 65.9 percent. Although lower than 67.5 percent a year ago, the level is higher than 63.9 percent in the previous month. This translates to 51.47 million Filipinos who were either employed or unemployed.

There were slightly more youth in the labor force in November 2023 at 34.4 percent than in October 2023 which was at 34.1 percent, but lower than the 40.0 percent in November 2022.

The youth employment rate stood at 91.0 percent, slightly lower than the 91.6 percent in November 2022, but higher than the 88.6 percent recorded in October 2023.

“The government will continue to maintain the country’s macroeconomic stability by staying on the path of fiscal consolidation through the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework. This will lead to the creation of more quality jobs and reduction of poverty incidence by steering the economy back to its high-growth path in the near term while sustaining high and inclusive growth in the medium term,” Secretary Diokno said.

Investments in infrastructure and human capital development, particularly on youth, will be supported by the government in order to bring about more jobs and quality jobs, thereby also increasing the quality of life of every Filipino.