MANILA -- The efforts of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to provide jobs to Filipinos gained momentum with the country’s unemployment rate improving to pre-pandemic levels based on a recent labor force survey.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Philippines’ unemployment rate improved at 4.2 percent in its Labor Force Survey conducted in November 2022, from 4.5 percent in October 2022 and 6.5 percent in November 2021.
In terms of magnitude, the survey found about 2.18 million were unemployed in November 2022, lower than the reported unemployed persons in October 2022 of 2.24 million and in November 2021 of 3.16 million.
The employment rate was placed at 95.8 percent in November 2022, the highest recorded employment rate since April 2005.
In terms of levels, there were 49.71 million persons 15 years old and over who were employed in November 2022, 47.11 million in October 2022 and 45.47 million in November 2021.
The country’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) also picked-up at 67.5 percent in November 2022, the highest LFPR since April 2005, translating to about 51.8 million Filipinos 15 years old and over who were either employed or unemployed.
The survey also showed that by sector, the services sector continued to dominate the employment market, taking the lion’s share of employed persons of about 60.5 percent.
This is followed by agriculture and the industry sectors accounting for 21.4 percent and 18.1 percent of the employed persons, respectively.
Comparatively, a PSA October 2019 Labor Force Survey showed an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent while the employment rate was at 95.5 percent.
The LFPR in October 2019 was estimated at 61.5 percent given the population 15 years old and over of 73.5 million.
In its year-end report last month, the administration said the country recorded 46.3 million employed Filipinos across multiple sectors from January to October this year, as it prioritizes creating job opportunities and increasing Filipinos’ employability.
“The employability of the Filipino worker is vital to building a strong labor force. Maintaining a high degree of employability requires the continuous upgrading of skills and knowledge,” the administration report said.
To increase the employability of Filipino workers, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) adopted and implemented modern and responsive technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and apprenticeship, with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
In September last year, President Marcos ordered the reattachment of TESDA to the DOLE, resulting in “stronger and better program coordination as part of the upgrading of TVET systems."
The DOLE also facilitated access to employment opportunities, ensured just and humane conditions of work, and promoted sound labor-management relations and industrial peace.
At the same time, the DOLE initiated the calibration of skills, certification, professional standards and licensure examinations benchmarked with international standards. (PND)