Unemployment Rate in the Philippines Drops to 4.5 Percent in June 2023

The unemployment rate in the Philippines decreased to 4.5 percent in June 2023, the lowest level since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

This translates to about 2.33 million unemployed Filipinos in June, down from 2.76 million in May and 4.57 million in June 2020.

The PSA attributed the improvement to the easing of quarantine restrictions and the gradual reopening of more economic sectors.

The underemployment rate, which measures the proportion of workers who are employed but desire additional hours of work, also declined to 14.2 percent in June from 17.2 percent in May.

The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of working-age population who are either employed or unemployed, increased to 65 percent in June from 63.2 percent in May.

The PSA said that among the major sectors, agriculture posted the highest employment rate at 24.7 percent, followed by services at 58.7 percent and industry at 16.6 percent.

The PSA also reported that the average weekly hours worked by employed persons increased to 40.8 hours in June from 38.9 hours in May.

The government welcomed the positive developments in the labor market and vowed to continue its efforts to create more jobs and livelihood opportunities for Filipinos.

“We are pleased to see that our economic recovery is gaining momentum and that more Filipinos are finding jobs and earning income amid the pandemic,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua.

He added that the government is implementing various programs to support workers and businesses affected by the health crisis, such as cash assistance, wage subsidies, skills training, and tax relief.

He also urged the public to strictly follow health protocols and get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent another surge of COVID-19 cases that could hamper the economic recovery.

Chua said that the government is aiming to achieve a lower unemployment rate of 4 to 5 percent by 2023, which is comparable to the pre-pandemic level.

He expressed optimism that the Philippines can achieve this goal as more sectors reopen and more investments come in.

“We are confident that with our sound economic fundamentals, resilient workforce, and strong policy support, we can overcome this crisis and build back a better and more inclusive economy for all Filipinos,” he said.

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