Philippine unemployment rate hits 10 percent

Millions now jobless in Philippines

MANILA – The number of Filipinos without jobs reached 4.6 million in July 2020 as the country grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, reported Xinhua news agency, quoting data from the Philippine government’s latest survey on Thursday.

“(The Philippines’) unemployment rate in July 2020 was estimated at 10 per cent. This is higher than the unemployment rate of the same month a year ago placed at 5.4 per cent, but lower than the record high 17.7 per cent during April 2020,” the Philippine National Statistician Dennis Mapa said in a virtual media briefing.

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He said the number of unemployed Philippine people, who are 15 years old and over, was estimated at 4.6 million in July 2020 – higher by 2.2 million compared to the same period a year ago but lower by 2.7 million from three months ago.

In Metro Manila alone, Mapa said there are about 929,000 people without jobs, followed by the Calabarzon region, south of Manila, with about 886,000 unemployed, and the Central Luzon region north of Manila, about 552,000.

“These are the top three regions in terms of the numbers of unemployed,” Mapa added.

Metro Manila, the epicentre of COVID-19 outbreaks, the Calabarzon region and the Central Luzon region, have been under lockdown since mid-March. The rest of the country is under varying degrees of lockdown restrictions.    The pandemic and lockdown restrictions also led to a significant economic slowdown in the Philippines. The GDP growth rate of the Philippines dropped by 16.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, the lowest recorded quarterly growth since 1981.    With 226,440 total infections, the Philippines now has the most COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia.

–BERNAMA