Half a million Filipinos find jobs in April–PSA

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The number of jobless Filipinos fell to 2.26 million in April, according to the preliminary results of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). 

On Friday, PSA said the number of unemployed Filipinos declined by 506,000 in April from the 2.76 million posted a year ago. 

On a month-on-month basis, however, the number of employed Filipinos declined by 160,000 from the 2.42 million recorded in March.

The latest data translates to a 4.5 percent unemployment rate in April, an improvement from the  previous year’s 5.7 percent. 

To ensure the “continuation” of this trend, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a statement on Friday, “The government affirms its commitment to the unimpeded implementation of economic liberalization reforms and other essential legislation.” 

“These efforts will be complemented by comprehensive collaborations among government entities and society as a whole to enhance the employability and productivity of our work force,” Balisacan added.

Further, the Socioeconomic Planning chief noted the government can “capitalize” on digital technologies to foster innovation, upgrade services, and effectively respond to the needs of the work force.

“Hence, the complete execution of the Philippine Digital Work force Competitiveness Act is also vital for equipping the work force with digital technology skills and fostering innovation,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the number of employed persons went up by 2.43 million to 48.06 million in April from the 45.63 million posted in a year ago.

National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said the year-on-year rise in employed persons in April can be attributed to the increase in wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food service activities, more tourists, among others. 

“So this is comparing April 2022 versus April 2023 so basically nakikita naman dito ‘yung opening of the economy, more tourists, people are going out that’s why ang ang isa sa mga malalaking sources of employment ay accommodation and food service activities plus ‘yung ating transportation so those are the areas kung saan may pagtaas tayo sa employed persons,” Mapa said on Friday. 

PSA data showed the top five major industries with the largest annual increase in employment in April were: wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; accommodation and food service activities; administrative and support service activities;  and transportation and storage. 

In contrast, PSA said the top three major industries with the largest drop in employment were agriculture and forestry, manufacturing, and construction. 

PSA said wage and salary workers continued to account for  the largest share of employed persons at 61.5 percent in April. This was followed by self-employed persons without any paid employee at 27.5 percent and unpaid family workers at 8.5 percent. Employers in their own family-operated farm or business had the lowest share at 2.5 percent. 

Among wage and salary workers, employed persons in private establishments made up 47.6 percent of the total employed, followed by employed in government or government-controlled corporations with 9.2 percent share.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes