Jobless rate up in July

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The number of jobless Filipinos rose in July 2013, the government said Tuesday.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary ARsenio Balisacan announced that unemployment rate in the Philippines rose to 7.3 percent in July 2013 from 7 percent in July 2012.

He said that although the Philippine economy, which had surprised with a strong growth in recent quarters, generated 620,000 new jobs, more Filipinos are looking for work.

According to the National Statistics Office, out of the 41.178 million persons in the labor force (persons who are 15 years old and above and who are looking for work), about 38.175 million are employed, leaving about 3.003 million jobless.

Then NSO said the National Capital Region had the worst employment rate at 89.1 percent.

Majority (53.4 percent) of those working were in the services sector.

"Among the unemployed persons, 61.3 percent were males, Almost half (48.9 percent) of the unemployed persons belonged to the age group of 15 to 24 years," the NSO added.

Balisacan said that  the higher unemployment rate,  despite the Philippine economic growth, is "not entirely unusual."

"As the economy grows and its structure transforms, it is normal, as shown by experiences of other emerging economies, for employment to exhibit volatility as labor markets adjust. Growth tends to increase optimism among the working-age population such that more people become inclined to look for work.

"Some jobs are destroyed and new ones emerge in the course of structural transformation. But while jobs are created, current skill sets of the labor force may not be able to meet the growing and shifting demand for labor. This may thus result in an increase in unemployment rate at certain times during the process of structural change," said Balisacan.

He also said the government will continue to create jobs in the country to esnure inclusive growth.

"With this, we assure everyone that the government is aware of the enormous tasks that must be undertaken  in pursuit of our goal of inclusive growth through massive employment generation and substantial poverty reduction. This is a reminder that the government should continue implementing the needed positive actions through economic and social programs to realize its goals and for the benefit of the Filipino people," Balisacan said.

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