Philippine unemployment rate hits 7.5% in January

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

UNEMPLOYMENT rate in the Philippines rose to 7.5 percent in January from 7.1 percent a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Tuesday.

The latest unemployment rate means that 2.969 million Filipinos were unemployed with most of them (48.2 percent) were 15-24 years old; followed by those 25-34 years old (29.9 percent), the January 2014 Labor Force Survey (LFS) showed.

About 64 percent of the unemployed were males.

"By educational attainment, about one-fifth (19.8 percent) of the unemployed were college graduates, 13.3 percent were college undergraduates, and 34.0 percent were high school graduates," PSA said.

Underemployment rate, meanwhile slightly declined in January to 19.5 percent from an estimated 20.7 percent during the same period last year.

Employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed.

The visibly underemployed persons or those working for less than 40 hours accounted for 58.9 percent of the total underemployed in January 2014 while those who worked for 40 hours or more made up 38.7 percent, PSA said.

"By sector, 41.7 percent of underemployed worked in the agriculture sector, while 41.1 percent were in the services sector. Those in the industry sector accounted for 17.2 percent," it said.

Malacanang blamed the high unemployment rate on the "mislocation caused by natural disasters" during the past year.

To address the unemployment rate, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the government will promote employment opportunities in places of refuge.

"We will take note that those mislocated were part of a migration wave from places of calamity to places of refuge, or to the towns and provinces adjacent to the disaster areas," he said.

The government will also facilitate employability by assisting job applicants in reconstructing pre-employment documents, Coloma said.

"Sa dami po ng nasalanta, nahihirapan din silang mag-produce ng mga normal na hinihingi ng mga employer na dokumento—mga transcript of records, ‘yung mga birth certificate, and so on," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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