Employment rate in July 2019 at 94.6%

Two weeks ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country’s employment rate in July 2019 was estimated at 94.6% or an unemployment rate of 5.4%.

Three years earlier in 2016, when the current administration began, the employment and unemployment rates were placed at the same rates in July this year. In 2010, when the previous administration began, the employment and unemployment rates were 93.1% and 6.9%, respectively.

In July this year, the regions with the lowest employment rates were Region IV-A (CALABARZON) (92.8%), the National Capital Region (NCR) (93.9%), the Region VII (Central Visayas) (94.0%) and Region VI (Western). Visayas) (94.1%).

In the Philippines, anyone who has reached the age of 15 is considered to be part of the working age group. The labor force consists of the fraction of the working age group that is employed and the unemployed aged 15 and over. Also known as the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR), this fraction is the ratio of the labor force to the working age group. The LFPR tends to be high when jobs are plentiful and low when jobs are scarce.

In July this year, the LFPR was estimated at 62.1%, down from 63.3% in July 2016 and 64.0% in July 2010.

Workers are grouped into three main sectors, namely agriculture, industry and the service sector. Service sector workers accounted for 57.8% of total employees in July 2019, the largest proportion of the labor force.

Workers in the agricultural sector were the second largest group, accounting for 23.5% of total employees in July 2019, while workers in the industrial sector were the smallest group, recording 18.7% of total employees.

Employed persons are classified into (1) paid and salaried workers, (2) self-employed without any paid employees, (3) employers in their own family farm or business, and (4) unpaid family workers. Wage workers are those who work for private households, private establishments, the government or government-controlled corporations, and those who work for pay in their own family farm or business.

In July 2019, salaried employees accounted for 63.4% of total employees, with those working in private establishments continuing to account for the largest share. They represented 49.7% of total employees in July 2019. The self-employed represented 27.3% of total employees in July 2019, while unpaid family workers represented 6.4% of total employees.

Employed persons who have expressed a desire to work extra hours in their current job, to have an additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed. In July 2019, the underemployment rate, which is the percentage of underemployed people compared to the total number of employees, was estimated at 13.9%.

Underemployed people who worked less than 40 hours per week are called visibly underemployed. They accounted for 62.3% of the total underemployed in July 2019.aUnderemployed people who worked 40 hours or more per week in July 2019 accounted for 37.7%. By sector, 46.4% of the underemployed worked in the service sector, while 34.6% worked in the agricultural sector. Those in the industry sector accounted for 19.0%.

Among the unemployed in July 2019, 60.6% were men. Among the total unemployed, the 15-24 age group accounted for 45.5%, while the 25-34 age group accounted for 33.2%. By education level, 30.2% of the unemployed were university graduates, 8.0% were undergraduates and 25.2% had completed high school. Lower secondary graduates include secondary school graduates from the old program.

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