The country’s unemployment rate in October 2022 fell to pre-pandemic levels at 4.5 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Wednesday.

According to the PSA, the unemployment rate in October was the lowest rate recorded since October 2019.

The October jobless rate translated to 2.24 million unemployed Filipinos, a decline of 1.26 million from the 3.50 million in October 2021, and lower by 256,000 compared to the 2.5 million unemployed in September 2022.

The country’s employment rate also rose to 95.5 percent in October 2022 from 95.0 percent in the previous month.

The PSA said the October employment rate was the highest rate recorded since January 2020.

“The country’s sustained recovery of the labor market backs our confidence that our policies and interventions to reinvigorate our economy are working,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Balisacan said the resumption of face-to-face classes also helped improve employment numbers.

“Also, with children back in school, parents at home, especially mothers, are also able to pursue more income opportunities,” Balisacan added.

The agriculture and forestry sector posted employment loss due to the tropical cyclones that hit the country in October.

The PSA said the services sector remained to have the largest share of employed persons at about 59.2 percent. John Ezekiel J. Hirro