President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. fumbled the country’s population and labor participation figures when he was boasting to American business groups about the Philippines’ young workforce during his recent visit to the United States.
During a Blair House fireside chat on May 4 (Philippine time), Marcos pegged the country’s population at 107 million and the labor participation rate at 60% as he expressed optimism that the country’s young workforce can bring about its much-needed economic transformation. He said:
I have a 107 million population and 60% of that are working… We have the youngest… certainly in Asia… with an average age of between 23 and 24 years old. And they are well-trained, they speak English.
The World Population Prospects by the UN projected the Philippine population at 111 million as of July 2021.
The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) Labor Force Survey, meanwhile, places the labor force participation rate for March this year at 66%.
The labor force participation rate stood at 59.4 percent in July 2021 and is the closest to the figure Marcos cited in the meeting with American business leaders.
The labor force participation rate refers to the percentage of total number of persons in the labor force total to the population 15 years old and over. (NP)