1M Jobs in BPO & Other Sectors Cut PH Unemployment Rate

The Philippine unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent from last year’s 7.3 percent, according to the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA). The cut was mainly due to 1.06 million jobs generated this year by outsourcing companies and other sectors.

PSA’s 2014 Labor Force Survey reported that 93.3 percent of the country’s workforce (age 15 and over) is employed, with the number of employed Filipinos rising to 38.5 million in 2014 from 37.4 million in 2013, a 2.8 percent increase.

The labor force participation rate (LFPR) similarly rose from last year’s 63.9 percent to 2014’s 64.4 percent, adding 879,000 employees to the 41.23 million strong labor force. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said that the increase in LFPR reflects the workers’ “positive outlook” and “expectations of better employment.”

The underemployment rate also decreased from 2013’s 19.2 percent to 2014’s 18.3 percent. The PSA said that workers who need additional work hours or jobs are considered to be underemployed. The survey showed that three regions had lower employment rates than the national average: National Capital Region at 89.7 percent, Central Luzon at 91.7 percent and CALABARZON at 92 percent.

Balisacan said that the government should maintain a favorable economic climate, with the goal to boost investment and encourage employers to hire more workers. He added that the labor force can be further expanded by construction, reconstruction and infrastructure programs, as well as expansion in the tourism and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors.