JOBLESS RATE HITS 12.2% IN APRIL

Manila, June 17, 2003 By Rica D. Delfinado (Star) The country’s unemployment rate rose to 12.2 percent in April from 10.6 percent in January this year as the number of new graduates looking for jobs joined the ranks of the unemployed.

In April 2002, the jobless rate stood at 13.9 percent.

The National Statistics Office (NSO), which reports unemployment data every three months, said the number of jobless Filipinos in April reached 4.22 million, up by 658,000 from 3.56 million in January.

The latest number, however, was lower than the 4.866 million unemployed recorded in the same period last year.

Unemployment is seasonally highest in April with the end of the school year.

The employment rate, on the other hand, went down to 87.8 percent in April from 89.4 percent in January.

In real terms, the number of economically active Filipinos reached 30.418 million in April from 30.119 million in January.

The number of workers in the services sector, which absorbs the bulk of the country’s labor force, grew by 0.4 percent year-on-year, but its share to total employment dipped slightly to 47.4 percent from 47.5 percent.

The agriculture sector managed to create additional jobs for 200,000 Filipinos or an increase of 1.2 percent from last year’s 11 million to 11.2 million this year.

Its share to total employment rose to 36.7 percent from 36.5 percent.

The number of employed persons in the industry sector went up by 40,000 to 4.9 million this year compared with last year’s level. Its share to total employment remained at 16 percent.

The total labor force population in April fell 1.2 percent to 34.6 million from 35.1 million a year-earlier, with the participation rate declining to 67.1 percent from 69.9 percent.

The NSO also reported that aside from the 4.217 million people who were unemployed, some 4.7 million workers were those who desire more hours of work or the underemployed.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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