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Philippine Unemployment Rate Surges to 4.5% in January


In a concerning development for the Philippine economy, the unemployment rate saw a significant uptick to 4.5 percent in January, compared to the previous month’s record-low figure of 3.1 percent. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the latest statistics provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA):

Rise in Unemployment

From the report of, according to the PSA’s nationwide survey covering 169,700 households, the number of unemployed Filipinos spiked to 2.15 million in January. This marked a notable increase from the 1.60 million reported in December.

Underemployment Concerns

Notably, the underemployment rate also saw a worrisome rise, reaching 13.9 percent in January compared to 11.9 percent in December. This trend signals a deterioration in job quality, as more individuals sought additional working hours to supplement their income.

Shrinking Labor Force

The drop in the country’s labor force further compounds the issue, with January seeing a decline to 48.09 million individuals compared to 52.13 million in December. This resulted in a lower labor force participation rate of 61.1 percent, down from 66.6 percent in the previous month.

The surge in unemployment and underemployment rates underscores the challenges faced by the Philippine economy. These challenges are particularly pronounced in the wake of external pressures such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its associated disruptions.

Call for Action

Given the concerning data, policymakers and stakeholders are urged to take proactive measures to address the rising unemployment and underemployment rates. Efforts to stimulate job creation, enhance labor market flexibility, and provide support to affected workers are crucial. They play a vital role in mitigating the impact on livelihoods and promoting economic recovery.

As the country navigates through these economic challenges, close monitoring of labor market dynamics and targeted interventions will be crucial in fostering a resilient and inclusive recovery. Fostering a conducive environment for employment generation and sustainable growth is vital for the Philippines. It aims to build a more robust and prosperous future for all citizens.

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