Employment rate in April 2022 up 2.36M

The country’s employment rate improved in April 2022, estimated at 94.3%, or around 45.63 million Filipinos employed, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported yesterday.

The report said the increase this year was around 2.36 million, compared to 43.27 million or 91.3% employment rate in April 2021.

The country’s unemployment rate also fell from 8.7% a year ago to 5.7% in April 2022.

The sub-sector with the greatest increase is that of Administrative and Support Services Activities (+349,000); monitoring of Accommodation and Catering Activities (+343,000); Transport and Storage (+289,000); Agriculture and Forestry (+251,000); and construction (+249,000).

The Zamboanga Peninsula recorded the highest employment rate at 97.1 percent while Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao recorded the lowest employment rate at 91.9 percent, according to the PSA.

On the other hand, the Fisheries and Aquaculture sub-sectors (-59,000); Education (-55,000); and wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (-24,000) had the lowest number of people employed from April 2021 to April 2022.

National and General Vital Statistics Statistician Under Secretary Dennis Mapa expects the unemployment rate to continue to fall as alert levels ease amid rising LFPR.

“What we are seeing now in the unemployment rate, it is really going down,” Mapa added, citing the harvest season in the agricultural sector as a major contributor to the drop.

Among the regions, North Mindanao posted the highest LFPR in April 2022 at 68.7%, while Region XI recorded the lowest at 57.4%.

LABOR MARKET IMPROVEMENT

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, meanwhile, is confident they will leave a better labor market to the next administration.

“We are ending our term this month on a happy note. We are restoring a labor market that is in a much better shape than we had before due to the pandemic, as shown by the April 2022 Labor Force Survey (LFS), ”Bello said in a statement.

Bello said the latest PSA report found there was a significant 5.3% or 2.45 million increase in the economically active workforce compared to the January 2022 cycle.

Likewise, he noted that the LFS recorded the highest employment rate since the pandemic at 94.3% or 45.631 million workers employed, translating into employment gains of 2.613 million compared to the January 2022 cycle (43.018 million or 93.6%).

“Furthermore, a decline in the underemployment rate was observed to 14% or 6.399 million in April 2022 from 14.9% or 6.397 million underemployed in January 2022,” he added.

Bello admitted that while the worst may seem over, there are still challenges ahead.

“Although the lingering pandemic is under control, the external shocks that trigger higher prices for fuel, food and other basic commodities are negatively impacting our economy and threatening our continued efforts to improve the labor market” , did he declare.

At the same time, Bello added that they were monitoring these developments and stood ready to help workers through emergency jobs, livelihood grants and employment facilitation services, among others.

“As we transition to the incoming administration, we will strive to maintain stability and social peace in the labor market until the last day of our work. We are confident that the new administration will be able to maintain the gains we have achieved, and even to exceed them,” he said.*PNA