The unemployment rate in April dropped to 6.1 percent from 6.4 percent year-on-year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The latest Labor Force Survey (LFS) results of the PSA that was released on Thursday show that more jobs were generated in April, with an employment rate that is estimated at 93.9 percent.

The total number of people employed in April was 39.9 million. Meanwhile, the total number of underemployed reached 7.3 million and the unemployed amounted to 2.6 million.

More than 75 percent of these employees are permanently employed, 18.4 percent are underemployed (employees with insufficient jobs), and the remaining percent falls into short-term or contractual workers.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said that the latest employment numbers reflect the Philippines’ vibrant economy.

Despite this, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)  expressed alarm in the youth’s economic inactivity.

Records show that youth unemployment rate is at 14.6 percent in April, with 23.8 percent of the total young working population neither in school nor in the labor force. This implies that 4.7 million young Filipinos remain underutilized.

According to the PSA, high school graduates make up almost a third of the unemployed (31.4 percent), while more than one-fifth are college graduates (23.1 percent).

Esguerra called on the incoming administration to produce more high quality jobs that will further improve the employment situation in the country. The NEDA director general considers the improvement of the business climate as the key to this.

He also cited the country’s need to focus more on income security rather than job security while exploring flexible work contracts and unemployment insurance/savings schemes.

Esguerra urged the closer cooperation between industry and educational institutions on upgrading curriculum. Aside from these, he said that farm workers’ access to technology must be improved to help produce more suitable and high-value crops, and to create crops that can survive adverse weather conditions like La Niña.