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Philippine Unemployment Rate Rises to All-Time High of 17.7% in April

Another one of the effects of COVID-19.
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As many as 7.3 million Filipinos have lost their jobs as the country reported a record high 17.7 percent unemployment rate in April.

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The Philippine Statistics Authority blamed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic for the surge in the number of jobless Filipinos. Businesses were shuttered, public transportation was halted and citizens were forced to stay indoors for nearly three months since mid-March.

Unemployment rate in the Philippines was 5.3 percent in January 2020, while it was at 5.1 percent in April 2019.

According to the PSA, employment rate in April 2020 fell to 82.3 percent from 94.7 percent in January 2020. In April 2019, it was at 94.9 percent. This translates to 33.8 million employed persons in April 2020 from 41.8 million in April 2019.

"In terms of the magnitude, the number of unemployed persons increased by five million from 2.3 million in April 2019 to 7.3 million in April 2020," said PSA chief Claire Dennis Mapa during a briefing on Friday, June 5.

The country last experienced a double-digit increase in its unemployment rate in January 2005, when it was at 11.3 percent.

Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon has gradually begun easing up on quarantine restrictions beginning June 1.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, though, despite the lockdown. As of Thursday, June 4, the country has reported 20,382 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 4,248 recoveries and 984 deaths.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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