MANILA -- The Philippines' unemployment rate was steady in July compared to the previous year while underemployment declined, official data released Thursday showed.
The country registered a 5.4 percent unemployment rate in July, the same as the corresponding month in 2018. The number of employed persons rose to 42.95 million from 40.65 million during the same comparable period, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
The number of employed persons grew 5.7 percent in July, reflecting an additional 2.3 million workers while the number of unemployed grew 4.4 percent or an additional 2.43 million jobless.
Underemployment, or the percentage of the total employed population who sought additional work, settled at 13.9 percent in July this year from 17.2 percent from the same period last year.
Those working less than 40 hours in a week are called "visibly underemployed," the agency said.
The labor force participation rate in July 2019 is at 62.1 percent from 60.1 percent in the same period last year, out of the total 73.1 million population of 15 years old and above.
Labor force participation of the young (15 to 24 years old) reached 38.3 percent in July 2019 out of the total 20 million population, the PSA said.
The full implementation of the Ease of Doing Business law and the easing of foreign investment restrictions can create more jobs for Filipinos, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Usec. for Policy and Planning Rosemarie Edillon said.
“While the Philippine economy has shown remarkable improvements in the labor market, the government should continually improve its efforts towards generating more productive and higher quality employment that provides adequate income for Filipino workers and their families,” Edillon said.