9.1M Pinoys lost their jobs since pandemic started in March 2020: PSA

Over 9.1 million Filipinos experience losing their jobs since the global COVID-19 started in March 2020.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) February Labor Force Survey, that 9.1 million adults — aged 15 and above — experienced temporary or permanent lay-off during March 2020 to February 2021 period.

“Sa Pebrero 2021 Labor Force Survey, kasama ang katanungan kung ang isang indibidwal ay nakaranas ng pansamantala o permanenteng pagkatanggal sa trabaho sa loob ng panahong Marso 2020 hanggang Pebrero 2021,” PSA chief National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said at a virtual press briefing on Tuesday.

(In the February 2021 Labor Force Survey, among the questions asked was if an individual experienced temporary or permanent lay-off from March 2020 to February 2021.)

Of the 9.1 million who experienced being laid off, 75.4% or 6.9 million are currently working or have their own businesses.

Meanwhile, 13.5% or 1.2 million are still unemployed; while 11.1% or one million are currently not in the labor force or not actively looking for employment.

“Over the past year, employment figures showed the sensitivity of the labor market to the level of community quarantines that were imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the economic managers said in a joint statement.

9.1M Pinoys lost their jobs since pandemic started in March 2020: PSA

“However, with the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases this month, the government has imposed the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in and the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, collectively called the ‘NCR Plus’ bubble, from March 29 to April 4,” they said.

Meanwhile, PSA also reported that the unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in February  is higher than that in January 2021 and October 2020, both with 8.7 percent. The estimate was the third-highest since April 2020. The highest unemployment was registered at 17.6 percent in April 2020.

The number of unemployed Filipinos 15 years old and over was posted at 4.2 million in February 2021, or about 234 thousand higher than the reported 4.0 million in January 2021.

Labor force participation rate (LFPR) bounced back to 63.5  percent in February 2021, accounting for 47.3 million Filipinos 15 years old and over who are either employed or unemployed. This is the highest LFPR reported since April 2020.