PH employment rate slightly up in April

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The country's economic managers say the declining unemployment rate reflects the country's growing economy.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 5) — The country had about 620,000 more workers in April than in the same period last year, bringing down the unemployment rate to 5.5 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recorded more than 40.89 million employed Filipinos in April, or 0.2  percent increase from 40.27 million workers in the same period last year.

The service sector comprised the highest number of workers or 56.4 percent of the total employment, followed by agricultural sector with 23.9 percent, and industrial with 19.7 percent.

The PSA said Tuesday employment rate in April reached 94.5 percent. This "reflects the country's economic  growth," according to National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon.

"We're very happy with the results," Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a  press briefing in Malacañang.

Lowest unemployment rate

The unemployment rate dipped also by 0.2 percent from 5.7 percent in April 2017, with the National Capital Region having the highest unemployment rate this year.

"This is actually the lowest unemployment rate recorded for all the April rounds of the labor force survey in the  past decade," Edillon said.

The rate of underemployment went up from 16.1 percent in April 2017 to 17 percent in April 2018.

Edillon said the government is investing in human capital to address the increasing underemployment rate. "What  really needs to happen is for the workers to improve their employability, so that they get into the more  remunerative jobs. It's a job that gives you wages," she said.

She added government also plans to address the mismatch between labor force supply and the demand from companies.

Over 60 percent of 71 million employable Filipinos, from 15 years old and above, have jobs in April. The labor force participation rate slightly decreased from 61.4 percent in the same period last year.