Unemployment rate inches up to 5.3% in Aug.

The ranks of jobless Filipinos went up 79,000 month on month in August, bringing the total unemployed that month to 2.681 million, preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.

This translated to an unemployment rate of 5.3%, rising from 5.2% in July but lower than 8.1% in August last year.

Meanwhile, the size of the Filipino workforce expanded by 557,000 to 50.551 million in August.

New entrants decreased by 271,000 on a monthly basis to 1.018 million.

Employed Filipinos in August picked up by 478,000 to 47.870 million from 47.391 million in July.

This was equivalent to an employment rate of 94.7%, slightly lower than 94.8% in July.

However, underemployed Filipinos rose by 488,000 to 7.031 million in August.

This put the share of the underemployed Filipinos to the total employed population that month at 14.7%, the highest in five months or since 15.8% in March.

Services remained the leading employer in August after cornering 59.9% share. Agriculture and industry logged employment shares of 22.6% and 17.5%, respectively.

An average Filipino worker worked for 40.5 hours a week in August, unchanged from July. — MIUC