Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jobless rate slows to 7.2% in April

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' jobless rate eased to 7.2% in April from 7.4% in January, the government said Wednesday.

There were 2.9 million unemployed people in the Philippines as of April, unchanged from January.

The National Statistics Office said the total labor force was at 39.7 million in April, a shade higher than the 39.2 million in January, with a labor force participation rate of 64.2%, slightly above January's 63.7%.

Underemployed workers were 7.1 million in April, flat against January. Almost three-fifths of the underemployed worked for less than 40 hours a week.

Of the estimated 36.9 million people employed in April, more than half were in the services sector and a third were in agriculture.

The Philippines' jobless rate is among the highest in Southeast Asia.

Annual growth in the first quarter slowed to 4.9% from 6.1% in the last three months of the last year partly due to underspending by the government, making it more challenging to meet this year's 7% to 8% growth target

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