(UPDATED) The Philippines’ unemployment rate for April surges to 17.7%, the highest ever on record, as the coronavirus pandemic wipes out jobs
by Ralf Rivas, 5 Jun 2020
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Unemployment soared to 17.7% in April 2020, equivalent to around 7.3 million jobless Filipinos amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced on Friday, June 5.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa said this is the highest unemployment rate on record.
Unemployment was only at 5.3% in January 2020, or 2.4 million people, and 5.1% in April 2019, or 2.3 million people.
After January 2020, an additional 4.9 million people became jobless.
The Department of Labor and Employment earlier estimated 5 million jobs would be lost due to the pandemic.
Records began in 1987, with the highest rate for that year at 10.2%. Mapa also said the last double-digit jump in unemployment was in the 2nd quarter of 1991, when it hit 14.4%.
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Mapa noted, however, that figures before 2005 are not comparable to the current rate, since the PSA revised the metrics of measuring unemployment in 2005.
All regions badly hit
All regions reported double-digit unemployment rates in April 2020, with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao suffering the worst at 29.8%. (READ: ‘Sariling diskarte’: The heavy impact of lockdown on micro, small businesses)
The employment rate fell to 82.3%, from 94.7% in January 2020 and 94.9% in April 2019.
Mapa noted that 38.4% of employed workers reported that they were not working, primarily due to the strict coronavirus lockdown.
Underemployment, or people who have jobs but are looking for more to meet their needs, rose to 18.9% in April from the 13.4% in the same month last year.
The labor force participation rate among Filipinos 15 years and older is estimated at 55.6%, the lowest in the history of the Philippines. – Rappler.com