The January 2023 unemployment rate stood at 4.8 percent, lower than the 6.4 percent outturn in January 2022 and the 5.3 percent in January 2020 or pre-pandemic.
“The generally steady and low unemployment and underemployment rates since the end of 2022 are reflective of the country’s continued economic recovery. To sustain these gains, we are boosting job creation and productivity through high investments in human capital development and public infrastructure,” said Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
There were around 2.4 million unemployed individuals in January 2023, which is a 19.6 percent or 580 thousand decline in unemployed individuals compared to January 2022.
Continued improvement in the labor market is seen as total employment reached 47.4 million, which translates to an additional 4.1 million in employment year-on-year (YoY).
Furthermore, the labor force participation rate (LFPR) recorded a 64.5-percent improvement from the 60.5 percent in January 2022. This translates to a YoY increase of 3.5 million Filipinos joining the labor force.
The quality of employment also continued to improve YoY as the underemployment rate decreased to 14.1 percent in January 2023, relative to 14.9 percent in the same period a year ago.
Likewise, around 6.65 million employed individuals reported a desire to work more hours, a slight increase from the 6.4 million a year ago.
By worker classification, the number of wage and salary workers and those self-employed increased by 1.1 million and 1.4 million, respectively, when compared to the same period last year.
By major sectors, Services and Agriculture registered YoY increases of 12.8 percent or 3.3 million jobs and 12 percent or 1.1 million jobs, respectively.
Due to increased mobility and continued reopening of commercial services, employment in Services was led by the Wholesale and retail sub-sector, which generated 1.5 million in employment, followed by Accommodation and food service activities with 555 thousand, and Transportation and storage with 295 thousand.
Youth unemployment rate decreased to 10.8 percent from 13.8 percent a year ago. The underemployment rate among the youth also improved to 11.5 percent from 12.7 percent in January 2022.
For full-year 2023, the government targets an unemployment rate of 5.3 to 6.4 percent. As the economy continues its path toward economic growth and resilience, the government is committed to implementing policies that stimulate the creation of quality employment as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.
On top of that, the government will leverage on the economic liberalization bills, such as the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), Foreign Investment Act (FIA), and Public Service Act (PSA) to encourage investments, promote better quality jobs, and accelerate economic growth.
“Given the challenges such as rising inflation and the possible impact of a global economic slowdown, the economic team stands ready to implement appropriate measures to ensure that our economic and employment gains are sustained,” said Secretary Diokno.