PH records lowest unemployment rate since COVID-19 onset—NEDA

The Philippine labor market continued to record positive gains as the unemployment rate fell to its lowest since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

As reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority today, the country’s unemployment rate significantly decreased to 5.2 percent in July 2022 from 7.2 percent in the same period last year. This is also the lowest unemployment rate for all July rounds of the Labor Force Survey since 2005.

Similarly, the underemployment rate plunged to 13.8 percent from 21.0 percent in July 2021. This is equivalent to 2.2 million fewer underemployed individuals.

“We expect more jobs and income opportunities available for Filipinos in the coming months as we move toward the full reopening of the economy. These opportunities will help temper the impact of global inflationary pressures on the purchasing power of Filipinos,” the NEDA Chief added.

The labor force participation rate increased to 65.2 percent, with over 5.1 million individuals joining the labor force in July 2022. Meanwhile, the total number of employed individuals rose to 47.4 million, bringing the employment rate to 94.8 percent—the highest recorded since the start of the pandemic.

“The continuous reopening of schools is a pivotal step for all economic players. The latest data show that as more youth have opted to return to face-to-face classes, women were also relieved from additional care work at home, allowing for more possibilities for them to be economically active,” Balisacan said.

The majority of the increase in employment came from the services sector, particularly in wholesale & retail trade. This is followed by the agriculture and industry sectors.

“We need to intensify the vaccination program by increasing the country’s booster rate to sustain low alert levels and reinvigorate domestic economic activity,” the NEDA chief added.

The NEDA Secretary also highlighted the need for the timely implementation of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 national budget and the passage of the FY 2023 budget to accelerate recovery and jumpstart priority programs in the medium term, thus, mitigating the impact of external risks to the economy.

“Keeping with our motto in NEDA, ‘Sentro ang tao sa ating plano’, all Filipinos will benefit from the opportunities made available by our rapidly recovering economy. We are pushing for the full implementation of the 8-point socioeconomic agenda towards economic transformation and betterment of everyone’s lives,” Balisacan added.