The country's employment rate improved in April 2022, estimated to be at 94.3 percent or about 45.63 million employed Filipinos, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Friday.
The report said the increase this year was by about 2.36 million compared to 43.27 million or 91.3 percent employment rate in April 2021.
The country’s unemployment rate also dropped from the reported 8.7 percent a year ago to 5.7 percent in April 2022.
The sub-sector with the highest increase is Administration and Support Service Activities (+349,000); followed by Accommodation and Food Service Activities (+343,000); Transportation and Storage (+289,000); Agriculture and Forestry (+251,000); and Construction (+249,000).
Zamboanga Peninsula registered the highest employment rate at 97.1 percent while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao posted the lowest employment rate at 91.9 percent, according to the PSA.
On the other hand, the sub-sectors of Fishing and Aquaculture (-59,000); Education (-55,000); and Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles (-24,000) registered the lowest number of employed persons from April 2021 to April 2022.
"Ang pre-pandemic naman ay nasa 5 percent level. Nagfa-fluctuate siya. Ang pinakamababa niya actually was in October 2019 na nasa 4.5 percent. Hindi naman talaga significant pero nakikita naman natin tumataas ‘yung ating LFPR (Labor Force Participation Rate). Dumadami ang mga gustong mag-participate sa ating labor market (The pre-pandemic was at the 5 percent level. It fluctuates. The lowest [unemployment rate] was in October 2019 at 4.5 percent. It is not really significant but we see our LFPR increasing. More are interested in participating in our labor market)," National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, Undersecretary Dennis Mapa, explained in a media briefing on Friday.
Mapa is expecting the unemployment rate to continue decreasing as alert levels relax amid increasing LFPR.
"What we are seeing now in the unemployment rate, it is really going down," Mapa added, citing the harvest season in the agriculture sector which largely contributed to the decrease.
Among the regions, Northern Mindanao posted the highest LFPR in April 2022 with 68.7 percent while Region XI registered the lowest at 57.4 percent.
Better labor market seen
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, meanwhile, is confident they will leave a better labor market to the next administration.
“We are ending our term in office this month on a happy note. We are turning over a labor market that is in a far better condition than what we previously had because of the pandemic, as shown in the April 2022 Labor Force Survey (LFS),” Bello said in a statement.
Bello said the PSA's latest report revealed that there was a significant increase of 5.3 percent or 2.45 million in the economically active workforce compared to the January 2022 round.
Likewise, he noted that the LFS recorded the highest employment rate since the pandemic at 94.3 percent or 45.631 million employed workers, translating to employment gains of 2.613 million vis-à-vis the January 2022 round (43.018 million or 93.6 percent).
“Also, a decline in the underemployment rate was observed at 14 percent or 6.399 million in April 2022, compared to 14.9 percent or 6.397 million underemployed persons in January 2022,” he added.
Bello admitted that while the worst may seem to be over, there are still challenges ahead.
“Despite the lingering pandemic being put under control, external shocks triggering rising prices of fuel, food, and other basic commodities adversely impact our economy and threaten our continued efforts to improve the labor market,” he said.
At the same time, Bello added that they are monitoring these developments and are ready to help workers through emergency employment, livelihood grants, and employment facilitation services, among others.
“As we transition to the incoming administration, we will strive to maintain stability and industrial peace in the labor market until the last day of our work. We are confident that the incoming administration will be able to sustain the gains that we had, and even surpass them,” he said.
Source: Philippines News Agency