President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the economy is “moving in the right direction” as he welcomed the recent drop in the country’s unemployment rate—the lowest since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a good sign. The economy is trying very hard to grow. We just have to be able to tolerate the shocks that are coming from abroad. But otherwise, the economy is moving in the right direction,” Mr. Marcos said.
The President also vowed to improve the quality of jobs to address underemployment while bolstering job opportunities in the country.
“Ever since we started with the economic team, even before I took office, we really concentrated on the creation of jobs,” he said.
“And that’s why it is having the effect now of bringing down our employment rate,” the President added.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the number of jobless Filipinos was at 2.5 million in September 2022, a 1.78 million decrease from the same period in the previous year.
According to PSA, the average unemployment rate in 2022 was already close to the pre-pandemic level, which was at 5.1 percent in 2019.
The sectors which posted largest the increase in employment are manufacturing, education, public administration and defense, transportation, and real estate.
While acknowledging that inflation remains to be a “worry,” the President expressed optimism the country could sustain the positive momentum with the unemployment rate.
The drop in the number of jobless Filipinos put the unemployment rate at 5% in September, which is lower than the 5.3% unemployment rate in the previous month.
However, despite the decline in joblessness, the number of employed Filipinos also dropped to 47.58 million in September from 47.87 million in August, translating to an employment rate of 95% from 94.7% in the prior month.