MANILA - Unemployment worsened in February 2021 compared to the previous month as the Philippines continues to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on government data released Tuesday.
Unemployment rate rose to 8.8 percent in February from 8.7 percent in January, which translates to 4.2 million jobless Filipinos, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in virtual press briefing.
In January, 4 million Filipinos were jobless despite the easing in COVID-19 restrictions.
Underemployment, meanwhile, hit 18.2 percent in February compared to 16 percent the previous month, the PSA said.
February's statistics is the first data released under the PSA's new monthly survey, National Statistician Usec. Dennis Claire Mapa said.
"Simula nitong Pebrero 2021, ang buwanang labor force survey ay isasagawa sa pagitan ng quarterly or regular labor force survey upang magkaroon ng high frequency data on labor and employment,"
(Starting February, the monthly labor force survey will be conducted between the quarterly or regular labor force survey to produce high frequency data on labor and employment)
This will help the government craft policies with more reliable estimates, he said.
Unemployment ballooned 17.6 percent in April 2020 following the first lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The impact of the latest COVID-19 restrictions will likely reflect in the April 2021 survey, Mapa said.
The National Capital Region, Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna and Rizal were placed under lockdown again as confirmed daily cases breached the 9,000 mark for the last few days. New daily cases breached the 10,000 mark for the first time on March 29.