Unemployment, Underemployment Rates Rise in Jan 2024


The Philippine Statistics Authority has released the first unemployment and underemployment rates for 2024, along with a report on employment in different sectors.

The Philippines started 2024 on a negative note as far as its unemployment and underemployment rates are concerned. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), both the underemployment rate and unemployment rate in the Philippines grew in January. 

The country’s unemployment rate rose to 4.5% in January from 3.1% in December 2023. According to a report, this translates to around 2.15 million unemployed Filipinos as the year started. 

As for the underemployment rate, it went up from 11.9% in December to 13.9% in January. This means 6.39 million of employed Filipinos are either looking for extra jobs or additional hours in order to increase their income. 

Which Sectors Posted the Highest Job Losses?

PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa notes that the retail industry saw a significant decline in employed persons. The agriculture and forestry sector, as well as public administration, manufacturing and accommodation and food services saw an increase in unemployment. 

Data provided also shows that that the following sectors posted the highest job losses:

  • Wholesale and retail trade
  • Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Public administration and defense and compulsory social security

Undersecretary Mapa noted that the numbers seen at the start of 2024 is a normal trend. This is due to the seasonal jobs that are typically created in the last three months of the year. 

Unemployment Rate in the Philippines: Not All Bad News

While the underemployment rate and unemployment rate in the Philippines rose in January when compared to the rates in December, the country’s employment numbers actually improved on a year-on-year basis. In January 2023, the unemployment rate was recorded at 4.8% or 2.38 million unemployed Filipinos. 

It was likewise noted that the construction sector added the most jobs to the economy, which totaled 500,000 new jobs. The transportation and storage sector added 155,000 jobs, while administrative and support service activities added 160,000.