Underemployment lowest in over a decade – NEDA

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The underemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent in October 2018 from 15.9 percent in October 2017, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Labor Force Survey. The National Economic and Development Authority says the drop indicates that the quality of work in the country may have improved. BLOGS.WSJ.COM

THE underemployment rate fell to its lowest in over a decade, an indication that the quality of work may have improved, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

It dropped to 13.3 percent in October 2018 from 15.9 percent in October 2017, NEDA said, citing the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Labor Force Survey.

“This is equivalent to 1.1 million less underemployed workers from last year’s 6.6 million. This is the lowest underemployment rate recorded for all October rounds since 2006 (20.3 percent),” NEDA said in a statement on Wednesday.

“This signals that the quality of work is improving even outside the National Capital Region. We attribute this to expanding employment opportunities and the approval of nominal increases in regional wages supported by labor productivity improvements,” Socioeconomic Planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said.

Underemployment rate in areas outside NCR declined to 14.6 percent from 17.0 percent, also the lowest in over a decade.

The percentage of discouraged job seekers decreased to 11.5 percent, which is better than the 12.0 percent target for 2018, NEDA said.

However, of the total youth population, 19.9 percent is neither in employment nor in education in 2018, but still falling within the…target of 19.5-21.5 percent.

The unemployment rate for October inched up to 5.1 percent, equivalent to 2.2 million unemployed persons, compared with last year.

It is at the upper end of the 2018 target range of 4.7 to 5.3 percent, NEDA said.

“To meet our targets, we need to fast-track strategic efforts to achieve all of our end-of-plan targets towards full and inclusive employment,” Pernia said.

“There is a need to improve social protection programs for workers while providing firms with flexibility to meet changing market conditions,” the Cabinet official noted.

“This should be complemented with the provision of unemployment insurance to support the income of displaced workers who will be negatively affected by economic disruptions,” he added. (With GMA News/PN)

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