Philippines struggles with unemployment despite economic growth

Photo via

Photo via

By Felipe Salvosa/Financial Times – Despite rapid economic growth in the Philippines in recent years, unemployment remains a persistent problem for the sprawling Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people.

Under President Benigno Aquino, in office since 2010, unemployment has fallen. The latest figures show the rate at 6.4 per cent in the second quarter of this year, down from 7 per cent a year earlier. But progress has been uneven and the Philippines still has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the Asean region.

One reason is that job creation has struggled to keep pace with an ever-expanding population. In three of the past five years, the number of people entering the job market has been greater than the number of jobs created.

The conundrum highlights the difficulty of spreading the benefits of economic growth and suggests they have yet to trickle down to more deprived areas.

Participation in the labour force remains relatively low. Only about 65 per cent of the population aged 15 and above is looking for work, one of the lowest levels in the region. This compares with 78 per cent in Vietnam, 72 per cent in Thailand and 68 per cent in Indonesia.

This is partly explained by the high value set on further education in the Philippines: young Filipinos typically spend some time in college before entering the labour market, contributing to the lower participation rate. Others in the region go to work earlier.


Find more like this: Economy

  • House approves divorce bill on final reading
  • 3 killed, 23 injured in Manila Pavilion fire
  • 10 dead as light plane crashes in Bulacan
  • Nursing graduate tops board exams twice
  • Duterte Pulls Philippines Out Of International Criminal Court
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7


  • CLOSEUP: ‘Lion King’ to include Pinoy flavor in world-class show
  • ‘Riverdale’ stars call out PH magazine for ‘disrespectful’ photoshop editing
  • Pixar’s first female supervising animator is Pinoy
  • Miss Great Britain training for Miss Universe with Pinoy coaches
  • The story behind the Pinoy-made ‘tsinelas’ action figures
  • MORE...


  • The Box That Brings Christmas to the Philippines
  • ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ swims 23 kilometers for peace in Mindanao
  • Former Pinoy dishwasher now owner of pizzeria in Italy
  • Women’s servitude blights Philippine society
  • Filipino hikers seen picking up litter praised widely by HK netizens
  • MORE...


  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • El Nido to impose daily visitor limits in 3 iconic tourist sites
  • Philippines starts building world’s first resort airport
  • aurumOne Makati Hotel – ‘Perfectly Simple’
  • Palawan is world’s top island; Boracay 12th
  • MORE...


  • Gilas beats Japan again in FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers
  • 2018 Winter Olympics: Philippines’ Asa Miller lands 70th in giant slalom
  • Michael Christian Martinez: Olympian and pioneer in Philippine figure skating
  • Basketball’s greatest show comes to Philippines
  • Laker Jordan Clarkson: ‘It feels good to be Filipino’
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • Which countries pay OFWs the highest?
  • MORE...


  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • Mindanao plants 3M trees in an hour, challenges world record
  • Fighting for sharks in the Philippines
  • DENR to crush seized elephant tusks, drops ceremonial burning
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces