Rise in unemployment amid COVID crisis not surprising — DOLE

June 8, 2021 Lee Ann P. Ducusin 231 views

THE Department of Labor and Employment was surprised by the result of the April 2021 labor force survey which showed that the number of unemployed Filipinos grew from the previous month as major areas in the country reverted back into strict quarantine restrictions during the month.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the labor department anticipated the employment reported in March 2021 will not be sustained due to the imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine within the NCR plus bubble in March to April, and Modified Enhance Community Quarantine from 1 to 15 May.

“This had significantly affected the April 2021 LFS result as businesses and mobility of workers were again restricted to contain the spread of the virus,” he said.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that unemployed Filipinos stood at 4.14 million in April, bringing the unemployment rate to 8.7%. This is higher than the 3.44 million jobless Filipinos and 7.1% unemployment rate in March.

Bello assured that the DOLE is one with the economic managers in safely reopening businesses so mobility of workers is also facilitated in a less restrictive community quarantine levels; committing to fast-track the policies and programs specified in the NERS 8-Point Employment Recovery Agenda

“Rest assured that the DOLE will continue to work with various government agencies and support initiatives such as the Task Group on Economic Recovery and the National Employment Recovery Strategy Task Force towards a safe re-opening of the economy and sustained improvement in our labor market. This is the only way to sustain our employment recovery and economic recovery efforts,” he pointed out.

The labor chief also called on employers and workers to continue with the strict implementation of the minimum public health standards (MPHS), and occupational safety and health policies and for all workers to get themselves inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines to improve the labor market condition.

“We need to instil discipline in adhering to basic MPHS – proper wearing of face mask and face shield, washing of hands, and social distancing. The current labor market condition may be improved by the timely rollout of vaccines for A4 categories of priority groups – the workers. We call upon all Filipino workers to get themselves inoculated,” he stressed.