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Jobless rate in the Philippines eased to 4.5% in June 2023

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The unemployment rate in the Philippines declined to 4.5 percent in June 2023 from 6 percent a year ago, but slightly increased from 4.3 percent in May, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Wednesday.

National statistician and civil-registrar general Dennis Mapa said in a briefing the employment rate in June was estimated at 95.5 percent. This was higher than the reported 94.0 percent registered in the same month last year, but slightly lower than 95.7 percent in May 2023.

“In terms of magnitude, the number of employed persons was posted at 48.84 million in June 2023, while 46.59 million in June 2022. In May 2023, the number of employed persons was 48.26 million,” Mapa said.

The number of unemployed persons in June decreased to 2.33 million from 2.99 million in June 2022, posting a year-on-year decline of 663,000. However, this was higher by 159,000 compared to the number of unemployed persons in May 2023.

The National Economic and Development Authority reaffirmed the government’s commitment to labor upskilling to improve employability and maximize the benefits of the country’s demographic dividend.  

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Employment rate among the youth was estimated at 90.1 percent or 6.45 million, higher than 88.2 percent in June 2022. Youth employment refers to individuals between the ages 15 and 24 who are part of the labor force and are employed.  

“As the number of young workers continues to expand, the Marcos administration is exerting efforts to focus on training and upskilling to improve their employability for high-quality and high-paying jobs,” said NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan. 

Results of the 2022 National Demographic and Health Survey conducted by PSA found that the total fertility rate of Filipino women aged 15 to 49 years declined from 2.7 children per woman in 2017 to 1.9 children per woman in 2022.   

This change leads to an overall increase in the working-age population (15 to 64 years of age) over time, or the so-called demographic transition.  When this is accompanied by higher investments in human capital and more high-quality job opportunities, then this translates to a demographic dividend, according to NEDA.

Chapter 4 of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 outlines recommendations for equipping the young Philippine workforce with the necessary skills to enhance the income-earning potential of Filipino workers.  

It indicates that promoting further investments in technical and vocational education and training centers, digitalization, and innovation facilities is crucial for improving the skills and competitiveness of the Philippine workforce.  

Balisacan said this is critical, considering the entry of new and disruptive technologies.  

“Modernizing training and vocational education facilities, as well as enhancing educational qualifications, competencies, and skills, are necessary to respond to the emergence of new demands for competencies and skills. These demands are a result of economic and technological transformations brought by emerging technologies in the market, such as artificial intelligence,” he said. 

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