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Jobless rate continues to ease in October

LATEST official labor data showed the ranks of jobless Filipinos, as well as those wanting more work to augment income decreasing in October compared with those seen in July and the record-high in April, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported earlier this morning.

The October rates, however, were still higher when compared with those seen in the same month a year ago.

Preliminary results of the PSA’s October 2020 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) put the unemployment rate at 8.7%. This was lower compared with the unemployment rate of 10% in July 2020, but still higher than the 4.6% in October 2019.

This is equivalent to 3.813 million jobless Filipinos, lower than 4.571 million in July, but higher than 2.045 million in October 2019.

Nevertheless, this marks a continuing trend towards recovery in the job market following the peak unemployment rate of 17.6% in April, equivalent to 7.228 million individuals unemployed.

Likewise, the underemployment rate, or the proportion of those already working but still looking for more work or longer working hours, was 14.4% in October, down from 17.3% in July, but worse than the 12.8% a year ago.

This is equivalent to 5.747 million underemployed Filipinos compared with 7.137 million and 5.438 million in July 2020 and October 2019, respectively.

The size of the labor force was approximately 43.649 million out of the 74.307 million Filipinos aged at least 15 years old in the October round of the LFS. This means the labor force participation rate stood at 58.7%, lower than the 61.9% in July 2020 and 61.4% in October 2019.

The employment rate, which is the proportion of the employed to the total labor force, inched up to 91.3% in October from 90% in July 2020 and 95.4% in October 2019. This corresponds to 39.836 million employed Filipinos as compared with 41.306 million in July round and 45.537 million the previous year. — Ana Olivia A. Tirona

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