PH unemployment skyrockets in April 2024, PSA reports

PH unemployment skyrockets in April 2024, PSA reports

ALTHOUGH the number of employed Filipinos increased in April, the number of unemployed also continued to rise during the same month.

From two million unemployed in March, it increased to 2.04 million in April, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Most of the unemployed are in the agriculture sector.

“Most of these are crop farm laborers. They are in the farms. In a way, because we saw the production in the first quarter, especially in crops, it decreased. So, it could be due to the impact of El Niño, as the production was lower, you have a decrease in employment,” according to Usec. Claire Dennis Mapa, National Statistician.

Nearly 2-M Filipinos seeking more work hours and extra jobs in April

The number of underemployed Filipinos, or those seeking additional working hours or looking for another job to increase their income, also increase in April.

Underemployment increased in the wholesale and retail trade sectors, agriculture (particularly the coconut industry), and restaurants.

According to the PSA, many Filipinos are not being hired as full-time workers.

“Sometimes, because the demand is not that high, their workers may now have adjustments in schedules, leading to what we call underemployment. Basically, it depends on the demand for the product of the firm,” Usec. Claire Dennis Mapa, National Statistician said.

High inflation hinders Filipinos to acquire full-time job—Economist

But for an economist, one of the issues seen is that employers, especially small business owners, cannot afford to hire full-time workers due to the country’s economic condition.

“They can no longer afford to hire full-time workers, only part-time. They can only pay for shorter working hours for their employees due to the economic condition where the prices of goods are rising,” Dr. Michael Batu, Economist stated.

Dr. Michael Batu specifically pointed out that the high cost of production due to expensive inputs, particularly electricity, is making it difficult for employers

“There are brownouts, and electricity costs are high. It’s very miserable,” Batu added.

But Batu says that those in the informal sector make up a large percentage of the country’s economy.

They have jobs but do not receive benefits and do not earn the minimum wage.

Due to the current situation in the country, the economist is now wondering about the pledges brought by President Bongbong Marcos from his trips abroad, which were supposed to provide many jobs for Filipinos.

“If our citizens had sufficient employment that provided them with high wages, we would not hear complaints from our citizens that when the prices of ginger or garlic rise, they can no longer afford to buy ginger and garlic,” Batu expressed.

Consumers group notes growing desire for livelihood change among Filipinos

According to a consumers group, unless the government seriously addresses the employment problem, the crisis currently being experienced in the country will not end.

“This really needs an immediate solution, a radical solution is needed from the government because Filipinos are extremely thirsty, they can no longer wait, the hungry Filipinos of today, for their livelihoods to change, for their livelihoods to improve, and for their lives to be happy as Filipinos,” said RJ Javellana, Founder, United Filipino Consumers & Commuters.


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