September 30, 2023

The Cordillera has recorded the highest employment rate and the lowest unemployment rate among the 17 regions of the country.

Based on the preliminary results of the 2022 Annual Provincial Labor Market Statistics of the Philippine Statistical Authority released on June 7, the total number of employed persons in the country was estimated at 46.89 million or 94.6 percent Filipinos who were at work or with a job out of 49.56 million Filipinos in the labor force.

Among regions, the Cordillera along with Region 12 had the highest employment rates, both with 96.3 percent, which is higher than the national rate.

Regions that registered employment rates lower than the national estimate are Region 5 at 94.3 percent, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao at 94.2 percent, Region 1 at 93.9 percent, Region 4-A at 93.7 percent, and National Capital Region at 92.8 percent.

Among provinces, Mountain Province registered the highest employment rate at 99.1percent in 2022 or about 85.90 thousand employed persons out of 86.69 thousand persons in the labor force in the province.

It is followed by Ilocos Norte at 98.9 percent, Kalinga at 98.3 percent, Davao Occidental    at 98.1 percent, Nueva Ecija at 97.9 percent, Batanes at 97.6 percent, Samar at 97.4 percent, and Masbate at 97.4 percent. 

There were 64.1 percent or 75 provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), and other areas with employment rates of at least 94.0 percent in 2022.

In PSA’s official release, Usec. Claire Dennis S. Mapa, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, said it may be recalled the Philippine labor market was still affected by the Covid-19, especially in the first part of 2021.

At that time, 53 provinces, HUCs, and other areas posted employment rates lower than the national average of 94.6 percent.

It was also observed the percentage of provinces, HUCs, and other areas with employment rates from 92.0 percent to less than 94.0 percent increased from 24.8 percent or 29 provinces, HUCs, and other areas in 2021 to 33 provinces or 28.2 percent in 2022.

Also in 2022, no provinces, HUCs, and other areas had employment rates lower than 90.0 percent. In 2021, 22 provinces, HUCs, and other areas had employment rates from 88.0 percent to less than 90.0 percent while six provinces and HUCs had employment rates of less than 88.0 percent.

On the other hand, of the total 49.56 million persons 15 years old and over in the labor force, 2.67 million were unemployed, which translates to an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in 2022.

NCR registered the highest unemployment rate in 2022 at 7.2 percent, while Cordillera and Region 12 had the lowest unemployment rate each at 3.7 percent.

Unemployment rates in the NCR at 7.2 percent, Region 4A at 6.4 percent, Region 1at 6.1 percent, Region 5 at 5.8 percent, and Barmm at 5.8 percent were higher than the national figure of 5.4 percent in 2022.

Among the provinces, Tawi-tawi had the highest unemployment rate at 9.7 percent which    translates to a total of 13.55 thousand unemployed persons out of 140.25 thousand persons in the labor force in 2022.

There were no unemployment rates greater than or equal to 11.0 percent in 2022 compared with the distribution in 2021. In comparison, there were more provinces, HUCs and other areas that had unemployment rates of less than 5.0 percent or 53 of the 117 provinces, HUCs and other areas compared with 23.9 percent or 28 provinces with unemployment rates of less than 5.0 percent in 2021.

Underemployment rate in the country was also lower at 14.2 percent.

Employed persons who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed.

The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 6.68 million in 2022. This accounted for 14.2 percent of the total employed persons.

Region 12 posted the highest underemployment rate at 23.8 percent, while Region 10 registered the lowest underemployment rate at 8.9 percent.

The regions that posted underemployment rates lower than the national estimate were the following: Region 10 at 8.9 percent, Region 11 at 9.1 percent, NCR at 9.1 percent, Barmm at 10.2 percent, Region 3 at 11.1 percent, Region 1 at 12.4 percent, Cordillera at 13.5 percent, Region 7 at 13.6 percent, and Region 9 at 13.9 percent.

In 2022, two provinces or 1.7 percent of the total provinces, HUCs, and other areas had underemployment rates greater than or equal to 40.0 percent. In 2021, this was higher at 3.4 percent or four of the 117 provinces, HUCs, and other areas.

There were also more provinces, HUCs, and other areas with underemployment rates lower than 10.0 percent in 2022 than in 2021.

Among the provinces, Agusan del Sur consistently registered the highest underemployment rate in 2022 at 47.7 percent, although this was lower than its 51.6 percent underemployment rate in 2021. Basilan also posted underemployment rate greater than 40.0 percent. The 2022 Annual Provincial Labor Market Statistics preliminary results is based on the final estimates of January, February, March, May 2022 labor force surveys and preliminary estimates for April, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December 2022. – Hanna C. Lacsamana