MANILA - The Philippines' unemployment rate was steady in June but the underemployment rate was higher, the state statistics bureau said on Tuesday.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said unemployment was at 7.7 percent in June, the same rate recorded in May. But the PSA also said the number of jobless Filipinos was higher in June at 3.76 million, compared to 3.73 million in May as more workers joined the labor force.
The underemployment rate meanwhile climbed to 14.2 percent in June, up from 12.3 percent in the previous month. This meant that there were 6.41 million Filipinos who found work but were still looking for more work.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa said that the higher underemployment rate in June was also due to higher labor force participation, as easing mobility restrictions allowed more people to look for work.
“Yung nakikita naman natin mula noong 2020 yung labor force participation at yung employment rate and of course yung counterpart yung pagbaba ng unemployment rate ito talaga ay function ng restriction,” Mapa said.
(What we have been seeing since 2020 is that labor force participation, employment, and its counterpart decrease in the unemployment rate is a function of restriction.)
EFFECT OF NEW LOCKDOWN
Mapa said unemployment may rise with the impending lockdown of key areas this month to curb the local transmission of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.
He noted that the highest unemployment rate recorded was in April last year when mobility restrictions were most stringent.
“Nakikita natin na tuwing tayo’y nagkakaroon ng lockdown --ECQ, MECQ-- may impact talaga sa ating unemployment numbers.”
(We see that each time we have a lockdown like enhanced community quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine, there’s an impact on our unemployment numbers.)
Joblessness has been declining since the record plunge last year as the government eased lockdowns meant to check the spread of COVID-19.
The Asian Development Bank however noted that the new jobs created amid the pandemic were of lower quality.
Businesses and analysts however say the new lockdown to curb the local transmission of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 will again impact the economy.