The Philippines saw a slight increase in its unemployment rate in January 2023, rising to 4.8% from 4.3% in December 2022, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The report stated that 2.37 million Filipinos were unemployed in January, which is higher than the 2.22 million in December 2022. The PSA attributed the main factor contributing to the high unemployment rate to the construction sector, which numbered about 557,000. However, the unemployment rate in January was still lower than the 6.4% recorded a year earlier.
The country’s highest unemployment rate was in April 2020, at a level of 17.6%, due to the severe COVID-19 epidemic, which prompted the government to implement lockdown measures to control the spread. However, the unemployment rate began to decline since July 2022 until November 2022, when it was at 4.2%.
In contrast, the Philippine National Economic Development Agency (NEDA) stated that the labor force participation rate rebounded to 64.5% in January, equivalent to the 49.72 million Filipinos in the workforce. The NEDA Secretary highlighted that the latest employment indicators showed a strong recovery and growth in the Philippine labor market.