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Workers at Divisoria in Manila

Unemployment rate for November 2023 at 3.6% – PSA

by Carl Santos

THE Philippines’ unemployment rate improved to 3.6% in November 2023, the lowest since the government introduced a new methodology for the labor force survey in 2005.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there were 1.83 million unemployed Filipinos in November 2023, 350,000 fewer than the 2.18 million recorded in November 2022. 

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate also eased to 11.7% from 14.4% in November 2022. 

The number of underemployed persons, or those who expressed the desire to have an additional job and work hours, was around 5.79 million last November, lower than the 7.16 million logged in November 2022.

However, the labor force participation rate dropped to 65.9% from 67.5% in November 2022. 

This translates to an estimated 51.47 million Filipinos aged 15 years and older in the labor force, compared to 51.88 million in November 2022.

To address the declining labor force, National Economic and Development Secretary Arsenio Balisacan emphasized the need to expand the digital economy, including the digitalization of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups.

“Digitalization enables alternative work arrangements, particularly for the youth, women, and those in the creative sector. This will help address the declining labor force,” the NEDA chief said.

“We will take full advantage of the liberalization reforms intended to attract investments in the Philippines, especially in digital infrastructure. Upgrading our infrastructure will attract investments that generate high-quality jobs,” he added.

He also suggested establishing a regulatory framework to allow alternative work arrangements, including part-time work, even in the formal economy.

“Allowing part-time work even in the formal sector will expand opportunities for lifelong learning, work experience in an organized setting, and coverage in social protection systems,” Balisacan said.



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