• Melo Acuna

Labor force survey reveals economy is far from recovery

3.76 million Filipinos unemployed in June 2021

MANILA – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) today said the unemployment rate for June 2021 remained at 7.7 percent reported a month ago.

In a statement, the PSA said this is lower than the unemployment rates in April which was 8.8%, February at 8.8% and January at 8.7% although higher than the 7.1% reported in March 2021.

“In terms of magnitude, 3.76 million Filipinos 15 years and over were unemployed in June 2021, compared to the 3.73 million in May 2021,” the PSA statement revealed.

However, the labor force participation rate (LFPR) in June 2021 was registered at 65.0 percent or about 48.84 million Filipinos in the labor force in June 2021. This employment rate for June 2021 is higher than the LFPR reported in May which stood at 64.6%, April at 63.2%, February at 63.5%, and January at 60.5% of the same year.

The employment rate in June 2021 remained unchanged at 92.3 percent from May 2021 which means that 45.08 million were employed out of 48.84 million Filipinos in the labor force in June 2021. The employment rate is higher than the rates reported in April 2021 which was 91.3%, February, 20201 at 91.2%, and January 2021 which was 91.3%, akthough lower by -0.6 percentage point from the March 2021 estimate.

Employed persons reported with job but not at work was down to 1.2 percent in June 2021 compared with 1.4 percent in May 2021.

The average weekly hours worked by an employed person in June 2021 was 39.0 hours, the same with a month ago. However, this was lower compared to January 2021 which reached 39.3 hours, and March 2021 which reached 39.7 hours but remained higher than the average weekly hours worked in February which was 38.9 hours and April 2021 recorded at 38.0 hours.

Meanwhile, IBON Foundation said the June 2021 labor force survey how far the country’s economy is to recovery sans real fiscal stimulus,

“Job generation is hollow with a bloating informal sector and huge contraction in full-time work,” said IBON in a statement. The group saw the conditions worsening with the enhanced community quarantine which will push millions of Filipinos in “deeper economic distress.”

The increase in employment was due to the surge from 1.3 million increase in unpaid family workers which reached 4 million in June2021.

“This is also from a large 1.7 million increase in the self-employed without any paid employees to 12.8 million. In contrast, the number of large and salary workers in private establishments contracted by 769,000 to fall to 21.1 million in June 2021, the statement revealed. (Melo M. Acuña)

A common scene along Metro Manila's main roads where people in motorcycles and bicycles join the early morning rush to work. (Melo M. Acuna photo)

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