MANILA (UPDATE) - There were 3.8 million adult Filipinos who were jobless as of October, representing an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, the state statistics agency said on Thursday as the economy reopened further after sinking deeper into recession in the third quarter.
The National Capital Region (NCR) had the highest unemployment rate, while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) had the lowest.
October's 8.7 percent unemployment rate was nearly double the 4.6 percent in the same period last year but below the record 17.6 percent in April.
The average jobless rate for 2020, based on four surveys, was 10.4 percent, or 4.5 million people, the highest since 2005, the statistics agency said.
Industries that posted the largest drop in employment include entertainment and recreation, accommodation and food services, real estate activities, transportation and manufacturing.
The unemployment rate in Manila, which accounts for 40 percent of the country's economic output, was at 12.4 percent owing to restrictions on movement through transportation curbs, national statistician Claire Dennis Mapa told a virtual news conference.
Underemployment rate meanwhile was at 14.4 percent. PSA defines underemployed persons as those who are employed but looking for additional work.
An independent survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released in October put the jobless rate at 39.5 percent or 23.7 million Filipino.
The PSA and the SWS use different metrics for measuring unemployment.
Unemployment spiked this year as the government imposed what has been dubbed as one of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns from mid-March to June in an attempt to check the spread of COVID-19. Despite this, the country still ended up with the second highest number of confirmed infections in Southeast Asia as it struggled to ramp up testing and contact-tracing.
Gross domestic product shrank 0.9 percent in the first quarter, 16.9 percent in the second quarter and 11.5 percent in the third quarter as the country continued to struggle to bring the virus under control.
A study by the Asian Development Bank showed that 84 percent of households in the Philippines said their income declined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the worst in the region, followed by Indonesia at 81 percent and Myanmar at 78 percent. The average for the 8 ASEAN countries was 73 percent.
-- with a report from Reuters