MANILA, Philippines — An estimated 12.2 million adult Filipinos were unemployed during the first quarter of the year, the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released on Thursday showed.
The SWS said the figure is equivalent to 25.8 percent of the adult labor force, which is 1.5 points down from the 27.3 percent or 12.7 million recorded in November 2020.
The pollster, however, noted that the latest figure is still 8.3 percent higher than the pre-pandemic level of 17.5 percent in December 2019.
The SWS defines the labor force as adults aged 18 and above, presently with a job plus those looking for a job.
The jobless, on the other hand, consist of those who voluntarily left their old jobs, are seeking jobs for the first time or lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control.
The SWS survey revealed that joblessness declined in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon but rose in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Joblessness in Metro Manila fell from 37.8 percent in November 2020 to 30.8 percent in May 2021; from 32.7 percent in Balance Luzon to 24.2 percent in the same period.
In Visayas, joblessness rose to 28.7 percent in May 2021 from 19.1 percent in November last year. It also increased in Mindanao, from 17 percent to 23 percent in the same period.
“The 1.5-point decline in the national joblessness rate was due to decreases of 9 points in Balance Luzon and 7 points in Metro Manila, offset by increases of 10 points in the Visayas and 6 points in Mindanao,” the SWS said.
The May 2021 survey also found the Labor Force Participation Rate, or the number of adults in the labor force, at 67 percent, or an estimated 47.5 million Filipinos.
The SWS survey was conducted from April 28 to May 2 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 respondents.