About 2.93 million Filipinos were unemployed in May compared to about 2.76 million in April, according to the latest data provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The national joblessness rate also stood at six percent during the same period, up from 5.7 percent in April.
An increase of two percentage points in the unemployment rate on men at 5.9 percent was noted, while for women, the rate rose to 6 percent in May from 5.7 percent in April.
The employment rate was estimated at 94 percent in May 2022 or 94 in every 100 persons in the labor force had a job or business in May 2022.
“This was higher than the 92.3 percent employment rate reported a year ago but lower than the employment rate of 94.3 percent in April 2022,” read a statement from the PSA released on Thursday, July 7.
In May, the underemployment rate was placed at 14.5 percent, which was higher than the 14 percent unemployment rate in April, and the estimated 12.3 percent underemployment rate in May 2021.
“Underemployed persons are those who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have an additional job or to have a new job with longer hours of work,” said the PSA.
The PSA said that the services sector had the largest share of the labor market at 59 percent of the 46.08 million employed population.
This was followed by the agriculture sector with 22 percent share and the industry sector with 19 percent share of the employed persons.
From April to May, about 1.12 million new workers were added in the wholesale and retail trade, and the motor vehicle and motorcycle repair sub-sector.
Employment in construction also increased by 232,000 new workers; fishing and aquaculture added 104,000; manufacturing added 90,000; and transportation and storage added another 70,000.
The agriculture and forestry sub-sector, meanwhile, lost 733,000 jobs. About 51,000 jobs were also lost in the professional, scientific and technical sub-sector.
“The immediate challenge is the full reopening of the economy,” said NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan in a statement.
“Over the medium term, the government will focus on creating more jobs, quality jobs, and green jobs through productivity-enhancing investments,” he added.
Balisacan said these investments include strategies to make the workforce more employable like better quality of education, development of in-demand skills, better job facilitation, and stronger linkages between industry, business and training institutions.
He also supported the immediate and safe return of face-to-face classes, a move seen to boost domestic activities and avert future productivity losses.