Unemployment Rate For October Slightly Eases And Employment Rate Improves
National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa reported in a virtual press conference earlier Thursday that the unemployment rate was recorded at 8.7% in October, which equates to 3.8M adults who are 15 years old and over. These figures are 1.8 million higher compared to October 2019 figures in Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) July 2020 Labor Force Survey.
Despite the increase from the same period as last year’s figures, it’s an improvement compared to the 4.6 million unemployed back in July this year.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua explained in a separate interview that this improvement in the unemployment rate was driven by the reopening of the economy and it could have been lower if the economy were opened further, coupled with the provision of safe and sufficient public transport. He further added that the successive typhoons in October alongside the monsoon and La Niña also added to the significant employment loss in agriculture.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, on behalf of Malacañang, acknowledged that despite the improvement in the unemployment rate, the number of jobless Filipinos still remained high. He said in a news conference:
“Marami pa rin po iyan kaya nakakalungkot po iyan.”
He also explained that the reason why the unemployment rate went down was due to the gradual reopening of the economy.
The October unemployment rate brought the 2020 average at 10.4%, which is equivalent to about 4.5 million jobless adults for the whole year. Also despite the significant improvement, this year’s unemployment rate is still the highest since 2005 according to the PSA Chief.
On the other hand, with the dip of the unemployment rate, the employment rate picked up to 91.3%, equating to 39.8 million employed persons in October. This is an improvement from 90% in July and the record-low 82.3% in April.