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In March, there were fewer Filipinos without jobs.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced on Monday that the nation’s jobless rate decreased from 4.8 percent in February to 4.7 percent in March.

Out of 51 million Filipinos in the labor market in March 2023, 2.42 million were unemployed, according to preliminary findings of the most recent Labor Market Survey (LFS), PSA Undersecretary and National Statistician Dennis Mapa stated in a news conference.

Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate decreased from 66.6 percent in February to 66 percent.

The employment rate was predicted to be 95,3 % in March, up from 95,2 % in February.

According to Mapa, the sectors with the greatest job growth include transportation and storage, lodging and food services, wholesale and retail commerce, construction, and other service industries.

With a share of 59 percent of all employed people in March 2023, the services sector remained the leading employer by industry group.

Agriculture and industry came in second and third, respectively, accounting for 23.5 percent and 17.5 percent of all employed people.

The underemployment rate decreased from 12.9 percent in February to 11.2 percent, the lowest figure since April 2005.

The Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement that the most recent employment data demonstrates that the job market in the nation is continuing to improve.

The decrease in the unemployment rate and the improvement in employment statistics, according to DOF Secretary Benjamin Diokno, “indicate that our economy is poised for continued recovery and growth.”

“The government’s drive to attract foreign direct investments, mainly through the economic liberalization laws and efforts to enhance the ease of doing business in the Philippines, are expected to generate jobs and business opportunities in the medium term,” said Diokno.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has pledged that the government will keep pushing for investments and increasing labor productivity to create high-quality jobs for Filipinos.

According to NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, the government is resolving problems and obstacles to boost labor productivity and create high-quality jobs.

“A crucial first step is passing significant measures for economic liberalization. However, we must take advantage of these adjustments to the country’s policy framework by making sure that we swiftly address local concerns about the ease of doing business in a region where our neighbors are also fiercely fighting for investments.

He continued that we must build an enabling regulatory climate that makes it simple for investors to launch businesses, grow, and produce the high-quality employment we need.

According to Balisacan, significant and consistent increases in human capital will be required to complement the productivity benefits from investments in physical capital as the government pushes forward with its infrastructure program.

“Improving the nation’s health, nutrition, and educational performance will be essential to preserving its labor force’s competitiveness among its Southeast Asian neighbors. The expanding working-age population will be able to take advantage of the job, market, and technical opportunities made accessible to it if investments in human capital are made, he said, enabling the nation to benefit from the demographic dividend.

To study and use new technologies for upskilling and reskilling on digital technology and innovations, the NEDA chief also highlighted the significance of collaboration among government agencies, training institutions, technology suppliers, and other stakeholders.

As we work to improve overall welfare and reach our medium-term socioeconomic goals, “regulatory reforms, strategic investments in human capital, and a flourishing innovation ecosystem” are some of the crucial components that are required, “these are some of the much-needed elements that will enable us to sustain the gains we see in our labor market,” Added Balisacan

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