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About 8 Million Filipinos Are Expected to Lose Their Jobs This Year

According to a new study.
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An increased unemployment rate was anticipated as coronavirus lockdowns began to be implemented back in March. In June, the rate reached a record high by surging to 17.7 percent, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

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According to a new study by banking group Maybank, about eight million Filipinos could lose their jobs this year. The report, "Labor Market: Retrenchments and Recovery," projects that the Philippines' unemployment rate will hit 18.5 percent, which is the highest in Southeast Asia.

Maybank Kim Eng analysts Chua Hak Bin, Lee Ju Ye, and Linda Liu, the  authors of the report, added that "jobs recovery will likely be slower in this pandemic crisis compared to the global financial crisis, during which unemployment rates took around four to six quarters to return to precrisis rates."

The Philippines was put alongside Indonesia as both countries experienced longer lockdown with strict measures. Until now, however, the two are struggling to flatten the pandemic curve.

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One of the industries that will be hit hard is the information technology sector. "Work-from-home policies are not a viable long-term option due to concerns about data security, power outages, and poor internet connectivity," the report said.

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As of July 29, the Philippines currently has over 85,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. According to the Department of Health, the occupancy for dedicated COVID-19 beds in hospitals nationwide is now at 52.3%, which means that we're at the "warning zone."

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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