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Unemployment, underemployment decline in May

THE COUNTRY’S jobs situation improved in May as the ranks of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos declined during the period, the government’s latest jobs data show.

Preliminary results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s May 2021 round of the Labor Force Survey released earlier this morning put the country’s unemployment rate at 7.7%, down from the 8.7% recorded in April.

This was the second-lowest unemployment rate recorded since the start of the year, following the 7.1% posted in March.

This was equivalent to 3.730 million jobless Filipinos in May, down from 4.138 million in April.

Likewise, the underemployment rate — the proportion of those already working, but still looking for more work or longer working hours — improved to 12.3% in May from 17.2% in April. This was the lowest underemployment rate since the PSA started tracking jobs figures on a monthly basis this year.

In absolute terms, this equated to 5.492 million underemployed Filipinos in May, lower than the 7.453 million the previous month.

The size of the labor force was approximately 48.446 million in May, up from 47.407 million in April. This brought the labor force participation rate to 64.6% of the country’s working-age population in May from 63.2% the previous month.

The employment rate was recorded at 92.3% in May from 91.3% in April. This was equivalent to 44.716 million people in May from 43.269 million previously.

The service sector made up 57.8% of total employment in May, inching up from the 57.4% cited in April. The industry sector likewise saw its employment rate slightly improve to 18.4% during the period from 18.2%.

Meanwhile, agriculture had an employment rate of 23.8%, down from 24.4%. — Ana Olivia A. Tirona

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