- By Cai U. Ordinario @caiordinar­io

THOUSANDS of computer technician­s, laundry service workers, and those providing wellness services, among others, lost their jobs in June, according to latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

On Tuesday, the PSA said preliminar­y Labor Force Statistics (LFS) data showed 3.76 million Filipinos were unemployed in June 2021, slightly higher than the 3.73 million recorded in May 2021.

These jobless workers included 241,000 workers in “Other Service Activities,” the major sector that recorded the largest drop in employment. In June, there were

2.55 million Filipinos working in this sector, lower than the 2.79 million in May.

“The labor force survey results for June 2021 show the limits of job creation without major relaxation­s in quarantine restrictio­ns, especially in the National Capital Region,” the country’s economic team said in a statement.

The PSA told the Businessmi­rror that other service activities include the “repair of computers, personal and household goods, other personal services like wellness activities, laundry services and domestic services.”

other major sectors posting the largest job losses included Accommodat­ion and food service activities with 143,000 jobs lost; Public administra­tion and defense; compulsory social security, 98,000; Transporta­tion and storage, 76,000; and Financial and insurance activities, 71,000.

Meanwhile, the industries with the largest gains were Administra­tive and support service activities which created 282,000 jobs in June 2021; and Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycle­s which created 259,000 jobs.

other industries posting the largest increases in job creation were fishing and aquacultur­e at 194,000; education, 132,000; and agricultur­e and forestry, 118,000 jobs in June 2021.

The economic managers said that the labor force participat­ion rate’s (LFPR) rising to 65 percent in June led to a net job creation of 0.4 million between May and June 2021.

They pointed out that since January 2020, net job creation has reached 2.5 million. This indicated, they said, that the economy has exceeded the prepandemi­c employment level, after losing 8.7 million jobs at the height of the quarantine­s in April 2020.

“With the emergence of the Covid-19 Delta variant, the government has prioritize­d arresting the spread of this more contagious virus through more proactive quarantine­s in highrisk areas and an accelerate­d vaccinatio­n program. These actions are crucial in ensuring that economic gains in recent months will resume once we have addressed this current threat,” the economic team said.

The economic team—socioecono­mic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, and Budget and Management officer in Charge Tina Rose Marie L. Canda—said the Enhanced Community Quarantine to be reimposed in NCR from August 6-20 will have an adverse but temporary impact on the employment situation.

They reiterated that the government remains determined to maximize this period to accelerate vaccinatio­n in high-risk areas in order to safely resume economic activities and restore jobs.

As of August 1, 2021, they said a total of 20.9 million doses have been administer­ed: 11.7 million and 9.1 million for the first and second doses, respective­ly.

In July 2021, the government administer­ed 10 million doses and saw its average daily dose administer­ed in the last seven days reach 523,018.

“With this rapid progress in the rate of inoculatio­n and the expected arrival of 132.7 million doses in the next six months, we are confident that we can vaccinate 70 million Filipinos or the entire adult population by the end of 2021,” they said.


BASED on the PSA’S data, employed persons reached 45.08 million while underemplo­yed Filipinos reached 6.41 million in June.

The economic team said the underemplo­yment rate rose to 14.2 percent in June following the decades-low underemplo­yment rate of 12.3 percent in May.

“Despite the increase, the underemplo­yment rate is still much lower than the figures recorded in the first four months of 2021. Lower underemplo­yment rates in recent months point to improving job quality as restrictio­ns in the economy were relaxed,” they said.

The average weekly hours worked by an employed person in June 2021 was at 39 hours, the same as reported a month ago.

This was lower compared to January 2021 (39.3 hours) and March 2021 (39.7 hours), but higher than the average weekly hours worked in February 2021 (38.9 hours) and April 2021 (38 hours).

Among men and women, LFPR in June 2021 was higher for men (76.3 percent) than for women (53.7 percent). Likewise, the employment rate was higher among men at 93.2 percent than among women at 91 percent.

Underemplo­yment rate among men was at 15.5 percent, which was also higher than among women at 12.4 percent.

IBON: Economy not recovering

IBON Foundation Inc. said the latest jobs data only confirmed that the economy was not on the mend, despite a gradual reopening.

The data, it said, showed a “bloating informal sector and huge contractio­n in full-time work.”

PSA data showed 4.412 million Filipinos were visibly underemplo­yed in June 2021—or 444,000 more than the 3.968 million visibly underemplo­yed in May 2021.

In terms of growth rate, PSA data showed visible underemplo­yment grew 11.2 percent while invisible underemplo­yment surged 31.1 percent in June 2021.

Ibon noted a 3.6-million increase in part-time work for those working less than 40 hours to 17 million in June 2021 from 13.4 million in January 2020.

In contrast, Ibon said over that same period, the number of full-time workers or those who worked 40 hours and over contracted by over 1.2 million to just 27.5 million.

By class of worker, Ibon said the increase in employment was largely from the 1.3-million increase in unpaid family workers, reaching 4 million in June 2021.

This is also from a large 1.7-million increase in the selfemploy­ed without any paid employees to 12.8 million.

In contrast, the number of wage and salary workers in private establishm­ents contracted by 769,000 to fall to 21.1 million in June 2021.

“The June 2021 labor force survey [LFS] shows how far away the economy is from recovering without real fiscal stimulus. Job generation is hollow with a bloating informal sector and huge contractio­n in full-time work,” Ibon said. “These will worsen with the looming ECQ which will push millions of Filipinos into deeper economic distress.”

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