Unemployment rate down to 3.73M in May

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THE country’s labor market has improved in May, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

From 4.14 million unemployed Filipinos in April, the PSA data showed unemployment in May declined to 3.73 million due to the gradual reopening of the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country’s unemployment rate in May 2021 was estimated at 7.7 percent, the second lowest reported since the start of the year, following the 7.1 percent reported in March 2021. April 2021 unemployment rate was at 8.7 percent.

“These significant improvements point to an economy on the mend. As the economy was further reopened in the second half of May, more Filipinos were able to re-join the labor force and earn sufficient income, as indicated by the lower underemployment rate,” the joint statement of the Duterte administration’s economic managers said.

Total employed persons stood at 44.72 million in May 2021 or a 1.45 million increase in employment from the previous month’s level of 43.27 million.

Largest share

By broad industry group, the services sector continued to account for the largest share with 57.8 percent of the total employed persons in May 2021.

The agriculture and the industry sectors accounted for 23.8 percent and 18.4 percent of the total employed persons, respectively.

The following are the top five sub-sectors with the highest number of employed persons: wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor and motorcycles (10.24 million); agriculture and forestry (9.49 million); construction (4.40 million); manufacturing (3.55 million); and transportation and storage (2.91 million).

Recovery package

To sustain the gains and achieve a six to seven percent economic growth in 2021, the economic managers said there is a need to implement the recovery package, which includes the National Employment Recovery Strategy adopted through Executive Order 140, and accelerate the roll-out of the vaccination program.

The group said both will facilitate the continued safe reopening of the economy to modified general community quarantine or better at the appropriate time.

With strong collaboration among the government, the private sector, and international development partners, the inoculation drive has to be sped up.

As of June 27, 2021, vaccine deployment reached 10 million doses. This consists of 7.5 million and 2.5 million for the first and second doses, respectively.

“We encourage local government units and establishments to coordinate on setting up vaccination facilities in workplaces. This will accelerate vaccine deployment and give our workers the confidence to go out and earn a living while keeping their families safe,” the economic managers said. (KOC)

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