By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent
The Philippines registered slight gains in employment last October, while the jobless rate eased to its lowest level in a decade, said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Based on its October 2015 Labor Force Survey, the PSA said the national employment rate rose slightly to 94.4 percent from 94 percent last year, but the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent from six percent in 2014.
The underemployment rate also improved in October this year to 17.7 percent from 18.7 percent in the same period in 2014.
The bulk of the country’s labor force comes from the services sector, with 54.5 percent in total.
Those engaged in wholesale and retail trade or in the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for the largest percentage (35 percent) of workers in the service sector.
Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group, making up 29.6 percent of the total employed in October 2015, while workers in the industry sector made up the smallest group, registering 15.9 percent of the total employed.
In the industry sector, workers in the manufacturing subsector made up the largest group, accounting for 50.7 percent of workers, and those in construction, the second largest group, made up 43.7 percent.
Among the occupation groups, the laborers and unskilled workers remained the largest group making up 31.5 percent of the total employed in October 2015.
Officials of the government and special interest organizations, corporate executives, managers, and managing proprietors (15.7 percent of the total employed) comprised the second largest occupation group, followed by service workers and shop/market sales workers (12.9 percent), and farmers, forestry workers and fishermen (13.5 percent).
Underemployed persons who work for less than 40 hours in a week are called visibly underemployed persons. They accounted for 56.1 percent of the total underemployed in October 2015.
By comparison, the underemployed persons who worked for 40 hours or more in a week made up 42.9 percent. By sector, 42.3 percent of the underemployed worked in the services sector, while 40 percent were in the agriculture sector.
Those in the industry sector accounted for 17.8 percent.
Among the regions, Ilocos Region (8.5 percent), Calabarzon (7.8 percent), and NCR (7.2 percent) had unemployment rates higher than the national figure.
Among the unemployed persons in October 2015, 63.4 percent were males. Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 48 percent, while the age group 25 to 34 at 32.1 percent.
By educational attainment, 22.6 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 13.3 percent were college undergraduates, and 33.3 percent were high school graduates.
Malacanang noted the decline in unemployment – the lowest figure recorded in the past decade – “is an indication of robust growth if more employment and less underemployment are also factored in.”
“By pursuing policies and programs thast widen opportunities for our citizens, the (Aquino) administration lays the foundation for a better future marked by increased access to education and health services,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.