Unemployment rate likely down in July – economist

By Anna Leah Gonzales

August 21, 2023, 2:19 pm

<p>RCBC chief economist Michael Ricafort <em>(PNA file photo) </em></p>

RCBC chief economist Michael Ricafort (PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The country's unemployment rate likely settled at 4.3 to 4.4 percent in July after a slight uptick in June, an economist said Monday.
"Unemployment rate could improve in July due to the start of the rainy season, when planting activities in the agriculture sector picks up, since agriculture accounts for about 25 percent of the country’s workforce," Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.
Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed the unemployment rate in June was at 4.5 percent, down from the 6.0 percent estimate in the same month last year.
It was, however, higher than 4.3 percent in May this year.
Ricafort said offsetting risk factors include some storm damage in the latter part of July, especially in hard-hit agricultural areas in Northern and Central Luzon as well as new graduates that could have partly added to the unemployment rate.
"Economic activities tend to pick up in the third quarter (of the year) in view of the seasonal increase in importation activities in preparation for the seasonal increase in demand in the fourth quarter Christmas holiday season," he said.
"So employment could also pick up alongside the increased production, manufacturing, and other economic and business activities in the third quarter in preparation for stockpiling for the local and export market ahead of the expected increase in sales," he added. (PNA)