Adult unemployment rate slightly eases, but remains very high — SWS
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s adult unemployment rate has slightly eased down from record-high 45.5 percent recorded in July 2020, but still remains very high according to a latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
SWS said on Monday that adult joblessness rates for the month of September are at 39.5 percent, which amounts to around 23.7 million Filipino adults. While this is lower than the previous numbers that correspond to 27.3 million adults, it remains in the very high range.
But more importantly, the latest survey also revealed that 14 percent of Filipinos had lost their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that approximately 9.243 million (39 percent) of the 23.7 unemployed Filipinos went jobless while the health crisis was ongoing.
“The survey found that 14% adult Filipinos lost their job/livelihood during the Covid-19 crisis. This is about 2 out of 5 (39%) among those, at the time of the interview, with no job/livelihood but had one before,” SWS said in its report.
“On the other hand, 22% lost their job/livelihood before the crisis, 12% never had a job/livelihood before, and 52% had a job/livelihood at the time of the survey. The proportion of those who lost their job/livelihood during the Covid-19 pandemic declined from 21% in July 2020 to 14% in September 2020,” it added.
Last August, SWS reported that they have registered the country’s record-high unemployment rate at 45.5 percent, as several companies and industries were forced to stop operations due to the pandemic.
Early during the pandemic, government was forced to place Luzon and other areas on a lockdown to avoid growing coronavirus cases. However, it has left a lot of people who rely on daily earnings without any income.
SWS numbers were downplayed by government agencies, like the Department of Labor and Employment, which insisted that only 3.3 million jobs were affected by the pandemic. The Philippine Statistics Authority, meanwhile, pegged the number at 4.6 million Filipinos.
Still, both numbers are far from SWS survey estimates of 9.243 million jobs affected by the pandemic.
SWS data also showed that the lower unemployment rates were mostly due to decreases in Luzon (12 percentage points), Mindanao (six points), and Metro Manila (four points).
Despite these, unemployment numbers surged by five points in Visayas, from the previous record of 46.6 percent to a new record high of 52.0 percent.
SWS said that 1,249 adult respondents were interviewed through mobile phone and computer-assisted interviews, which was divided according to population density projections: 328 for Balance Luzon, 309 for Metro Manila, 312 in Mindanao, and 300 in Visayas.
The survey firm noted that they are using sampling error margin of ±3% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5% for Balance Luzon, ±6% for the Visayas, and ±6% for Mindanao.
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