RANKS OF JOBLESS GROW IN JUNE ON COVID CURBS
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.”