TACLOBAN CITY, Feb. 22 (PNA) –- Unemployment rate in Eastern Visayas has dropped to 5.3 percent in 2015 from 5.6 percent a year ago, indicating a recovery of local business sectors after the destructive 2013 typhoon, an official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

DOLE Assistant Regional Director Exequiel Ronie Guzman said that based on estimates of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), local economy and job generation activities has been improving as more people in the labor force found jobs last year.

“Even just a .1 percent increase has a very big impact especially that the region is still recovering from destruction of super typhoon Yolanda,” Guzman said.

The official believed that higher spending for reconstruction projects has created more job opportunities in the region, especially for retail and services establishments, which comprise 98 percent of the total number of businesses in the region.

In terms of underemployment, its rate dipped from 32.4 in 2014 to 26 percent last year, which means that more workers are getting extra jobs or getting higher pay.

“Our presumption is that there are more job opportunities, either in the formal or informal sector,” Guzman added.

By definition, employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed.

Between March and April this year, the DOLE is expecting an increase in the number of unemployed persons as more fresh graduates will join the region’s labor force.

“The adjustment is expected every after graduation, but the decline this year will be reduced with election campaign activities that require thousands of workers for temporary employment,” Guzman said. (PNA)