Jobless Filipinos down to 2.18M in November

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 6) — The number of jobless Filipinos declined in November, with the unemployment rate lowest since April 2005, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday.

Estimates from the PSA showed that unemployed Filipinos reached 2.18 million in the period, a decrease from 2.24 million the month prior.

This is equivalent to a national unemployment rate of 4.2%, down from October's 4.5%.

In a briefing, National Statistician Dennis Mapa said November's figure was the country's lowest unemployment rate since April 2005.

From January to November 2022, the average unemployment rate stood at 5.5%, a major drop from the first two years of the pandemic when the Philippines recorded 10.4% in 2020 and 7.8% in 2021.

Mapa said the Philippines is near to hitting pre-pandemic levels, as 2019 posted a 5.1% unemployment rate.

He attributed the further dip in the jobless rate to the high economic activities during the holiday season, with the labor force participation rate improving to 67.5%.

Businesses were expected to hire seasonal workers during the fourth quarter as it is their strongest period amid the holiday spending.

"Kapag October to December, marami 'yung ini-employ dahil malakas ang economic activities," he said.

[Translation: During October to December, many are employed because economic activities are strong.]

PSA data showed that the services sector continued to dominate the employment market, followed by the agriculture and industry sectors.

The following industries had the largest increase in employment in November:

- Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (941,00)

- Manufacturing (668,000)

- Accommodation and food service activities (381,000)

- Agriculture and forestry (247,000)

- Public administration and defense compulsory social security (203,000)

Five sectors, however, saw a huge drop in employment, namely construction; fishing and aquaculture; transportation and storage; administrative and support service activities; and mining and quarrying.