Palace stresses need for further safe reopening of economy amid high jobless rate

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 02 2021 08:34 PM

Palace stresses need for further safe reopening of economy amid high jobless rate 1
People do some last-minute shopping in Quiapo, Manila on December 29, 2020, the last working day of the year. Jonathan Celllona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday welcomed a new survey which showed there were fewer Filipinos without jobs in the fourth quarter of 2020, and stressed the Philippines' need to further re-open its economy.

The Social Weather Stations survey estimated there were 12.7 million Filipinos without jobs in the fourth quarter of last year, representing 27.3 percent of the adult labor force.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the figure is a marked improvement from the country's record-high 45.5 percent adult jobless rate last July, although it is still far from pre-pandemic levels.

“Bago mag-COVID-19, 19.8 (percent) iyong ating joblessness. Ngayon po, 27.3 (percent). Mataas pa rin po iyan, bagama’t kahit papaano po, we find solace in the fact na bumaba nga po itong joblessness,” Roque said.

(Before COVID-19 struck, we had 19.8 percent jobless rate. Now, it's at 27.3 percent. That's still high, but we still find solace in the fact that the unemployement rate went down.)

“Ito po ang dahilan kung bakit kinakailangang magbukas pa rin tayo ng ating ekonomiya nang sa ganoon mas marami sa ating mga kababayan ang makapagtrabaho,” he said.

(This is the reason why we need to further re-open our economy so that more of our countrymen will have jobs.)

SWS said the latest survey results showed an improvement from the 23.7 million jobless Filipinos, which represented 39.5 percent of the adult labor force, in a query conducted in September. 

It said the country's joblessness was at 17.5 percent in December 2019, the last measurement before the COVID-19 crisis began.

The Philippine Statistics Authority meanwhile reported that the country’s unemployment rate in the fourth quarter stood at 8.7 percent, which is equivalent to 3.8 million unemployed Filipinos. 

It said this was the lowest jobless rate since April last year, although still higher than the 4.6 percent in the same period a year ago.

The PSA and SWS use different metrics for measuring unemployment. 

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