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‘Unemployment rate unchanged’

MANILA, Philippines - The unemployment level in the country was nearly unchanged in January from a year ago, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said yesterday.

The NSO’s Labor Force Survey released yesterday showed the jobless rate was at 7.1 percent in January compared to the 7.2 percent in the same month last year.

The NSO noted that the number of unemployed Filipinos went up slightly to 2.894 million in January from 2.892 million a year ago.

The National Capital Region had the highest jobless rate at 9.5 percent, while Cagayan Valley had the lowest unemployment at 3.3 percent.

NSO added the bulk of the jobless are males at 63.6 percent.

By educational attainment, 33.7 percent of the unemployed were high school graduates, 13.1 percent were college undergraduates, while 16.9 percent were college graduates.

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Of the estimated 63.682 million population of those aged 15 years and over in January, 40.8 million were in the labor force, resulting in a labor force participation rate of 64.1 percent.

NSO said 37.940 million individuals were employed in January, up from the 37.334 million in the previous year.

Of the total employed, most or 54.1 percent were in the services sector.

The number of underemployed Filipinos in January, meanwhile, was estimated at 7.934 million, higher than the 7.018 million last year.

Less than half or 42.3 percent of the underemployed were working in the services sector.

University of the Philippines economist Benjamin Diokno said the latest results showed no significant change in the domestic jobs market.

 – With Mayen Jaymalin

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