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Jobless rate increases to 8.1% in August

By Melrose Juanites Calubag Published Sep 30, 2021 5:41 pm

The number of unemployed Filipinos ages 15 and above increased to 3.88 million reflecting an unemployment rate of 8.1% in August this year, according to the Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Sept. 30.

The figure was the result of a survey of 10,919 households by the PSA.

The unemployment rate in August is an increase of 1.2 % from the 6.9 % (3.07 million individuals) reported in July.

The rate was lower than that reported in January (8.7%), February (8.8%), and April (8.7%) this year but it was higher than the rates in March (7.1%), May and June (7.7%), and in July (6.9%).

The employment rate dropped from 93.1% (41.7 million individuals) in July to 91.9% (44.23 million individuals) in August. Underemployed rate decreased from 20.9% (8.69 million individuals) in July to 14.7% (6.48 million individuals) in August.

According to the Duterte administration’s economic managers— Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, and Budget officer-in-charge Tina Rose Canda—the higher unemployment figure was “expected” due to the brief return to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in August.

“This result is expected, given the stricter quarantine imposed to curb the spread of the Delta variant,” the economic managers said in a joint statement.

It can be recalled that the government imposed a two-week ECQ in the country’s economic center, National Capital Region (NCR), from August 6 to 20, as it sought to contain a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases.

PSA Chief Claire Dennis Mapa said that when there is an ECQ, the unemployment rate rises. “’Pag merong ECQ, ang affected ay unemployment rate. Malaki ang impact ng ECQ dito, particularly in NCR.”

The economic managers also said that the safe reopening of the economy, limiting restrictions to granular lockdowns, and accelerating the vaccination program are keys to the country’s recovery.

“These efforts will complement our recovery program and help our country bounce back from this crisis,” the economic managers said.

They added, “We remain optimistic that our country will be able to recover to our pre-pandemic growth trajectory by the end of 2022 or early 2023 through the accelerated implementation of our recovery program and these pivotal reforms.”

Banner and thumbnail photo by the Philippine Star