PSA: Philippine March 2023 employment rate posts 95.3% increase

2023 May 8

The country’s employment rate has increased to 95.3 percent in March 2023 from the 94.2 percent in the same period last year, according to the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The March 2023 Labor Force Survey of the PSA showed that the number of employed persons in March 2023 was estimated at 48.58 million, which is 1.6 million higher than the 46.98 million employed persons in March 2022.

The PSA also emphasized that the unemployment rate in March 2023 has dropped to 4.7 percent from the 5.8 percent in March 2022 (and 4.8 percent in February 2023). This translates to 2.42 million unemployed Filipinos out of 51 million Filipinos who were in the labor force in March 2023

In terms of the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR), the PSA said that it was registered at 66 percent in March 2023, which was higher than the 65.4 percent LFPR in March 2022, but lower than the 66.6 percent LFPR in February 2023.

“Underemployment rate in March 2023 went down to 11.2 percent, from 15.8 percent in the same month last year and 12.9 percent in February 2023. This was the lowest unemployment rate reported since April 2005,” the PSA said.

“The reported underemployment rate was equivalent to 5.44 million persons who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with long hours of work,” it added.

Services sector remained as the top employment hub with a share of 59 percent of the total employment population in March 2023 followed by the agricultural and industry sectors at 23.5 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively.

The PSA said that the year-on-year increase in employment was driven by services and industry sectors, comprising sub-sectors from the transportation and storage (533,000) and accommodation and food service activities (447,000).

Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles also recorded the highest number of employment rate (407,000); construction (384,000); and other services activities (344,000).

The PSA, on the other hand, said that sub-sectors with the largest drop of employed persons from March 2022 to March 2023 are agricultural and forestry; financial and insurance activities; manufacturing; human, health and social activities; and information and communication.

“Wage and salary workers continued to contribute the largest share of employed persons with 61.6 percent of the employed population 15 years old and over in March 2023,” the PSA said.

“This was followed by self-employed persons without any paid employee at 27.6 percent and unpaid family workers at 8.9 percent. Employer in own family-operated farm of business had the lowest share of 1.9 percent,” it added.

The PSA also noted that the youth unemployment rate also decreased from 11.3 percent in March 2022 to 10.2 percent in March this year while the number of underemployed youth in March 2023 was posted at 612,000 out of the 6.40 million employed youth.

Meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said that families tend to self-rate themselves as “poor” when the inflation rate, particularly food inflation, is high.

An SWS survey conducted from March 26 to 29, 2023 stated that 51 percent of Filipino families rate themselves as poor while 30 percent rated themselves as “borderline” and 19 percent rated themselves as not poor.

“The SWS survey results for March 2023 reflect that tendency, even as the labor market conditions have been improving, as shown by recent months of PSA surveys,” the NEDA said.

With this, the NEDA assured the public that they have been working hard to address the issues contributing to the price elevation in recent months as it emphasized that the government has succeeded in reducing overall inflation in the last three months.

“We have, however, much more work to do as the government targets inflation to return to low levels of two to four percent by the end of the year,” the NEDA said in a statement.

The NEDA earlier disclosed that the country’s inflation rate has further eased to 6.6 percent in April 2023 from 7.6 percent in March this year.