Unemployment rate in Region 12 drops

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 Aug) – The number of unemployed residents in Region 12 has slightly dropped in 2013 as the area’s socio-economic situation continued to improve.

Lawyer Maqtahar Manulon, Philippine Statistics Authority-National Statistics Office (PSA-NSO) Region 12 director, said the region posted an unemployment rate of 4 percent as of January 2014, decreasing by 0.8 percent or from 4.8 percent in January 2013.

As a result, he said the area’s employment rate improved by 0.8 percent or from 95.20 percent in January 2013 to 96 percent in January 2014.

A report released earlier this week by PSA-NSO Region 12 showed that the region’s employable population or residents who are considered as already in the working age of 15 years old and above is currently at an estimated 2,734,000.

Such figure increased by 53,000 based on the 2,681,000 total employable population as of January 2013.

But the report noted that the area’s labor force participation rate dropped to 65.39 percent when compared to the previous 65.98 percent.

Labor force participation rate is the proportion of the population aged 15 and older that are economically active or “all people who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specified period.”

The number of those who were “not in the labor force” increased to 34.61 percent from the previous 34.02 percent.

Manulon said the improvement achieved by the region in terms of the unemployment rate was opposite with the national results that turned out an increase of 0.45 percent or from 7.09 percent in January 2013 to 7.54 percent in January 2014.

The region’s employment rate was also 3.54 percentage points higher when compared to the national figures.

“The labor force participation rate in the region also consistently posted higher marks against the national figure (in the surveys conducted),” he said.

The country’s working-age population was estimated at 61,777,000 in January 2014, significantly dropping from the 63,720,000 in January 20014.

The overall labor force participation rate was at 63.76 percent in January 2014, dropping from the previous 64.08 percent.

Manulon said the region posted an estimated 1.72 million employed persons as of January 2014, roughly equivalent to 4.72 percent of the estimated 36.42 million total employed persons in the country.

Of the employed persons in the region, he said female college graduates outnumbered the males at a ratio of 9:4 or nine females every four males.

“For every 25 employed persons in the region, 11 persons engaged in agriculture and forestry industry, composed of 8 males and 3 females,” he said.

He said most males were employed in agriculture and forestry industries while most women were in wholesale and retail trade as well as repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles.