Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday said more secured jobs with stable income were created in January 2017 despite the slight drop in the employment rate in the county.


Bello made the statement after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released a report indicating the country’s unemployment rate inched up to 6.6 percent in January 2017.


According to Bello, underemployment rate was down to 16.3 percent from 19.6 percent a year ago. Underemployed workers are persons who are employed but express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours.


He added that the number of the visibly underemployed also declined by 4.189 million to 3.839 million. Underemployed persons who work for less than 40 hours in a week are called visibly underemployed persons. They accounted for 58.5 percent of the total underemployed in January 2017.


Based on the PSA data, 46.9 percent of the underemployed worked in the services sector, while 32.8 percent were in the agriculture sector. Those in the industry sector accounted for 20.3 percent


PSA data showed employment rate in January 2017 was at 93.4 percent. The figure was 0.9 percent lower than last year which was at 94.3 percent. The four regions which registered the lowest employment rates were Ilocos Region at 91.3 percent, National Capital Region at 91.5 percent, Caraga at 91.5 percent, and CALABARZON at 91.8 percent.
The PSA, in its report, stated that the results of the January 2017 LFS are not comparable with that of the previous years because of a break in the data series following the adoption of the 2013 Master Sample for household-based surveys which was introduced in April 2016.


It added that the modifications on the master sample design are part of the efforts to provide provincial-level statistics and also to improve the quality of data generated to provide the users with reliable, relevant, and useful household-based data.


Included in the modification is the re-inclusion of Leyte in the LFS coverage. After Typhoon Yolanda struck in 2013, widespread damage which resulted to displacement of workers were prevalent in the area. Because of this, the household sampling used for Leyte is no longer usable.


Another modification is the adoption of the 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational classification (PSOC) for major occupation categories. Prior to the April 2016 survey, the PSA is using the 1992 PSOC. Under the 2012 PSOC, the military workforce in the country is included in the occupational category.

The labor force participation rate (LFPR) in January 2017 was estimated at 60.7 percent given the labor force population of 69.4 million. The labor force population consists of the employed and the unemployed 15 years old and over.



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