MANILA, Philippines – The number of Filipinos who lost their jobs jumped to 4.2 million in February this year, based on data released by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Tuesday.
In a virtual press briefing, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Dennis Mapa said the unemployment rate in February was recorded at 8.8 percent, which is equivalent to 4.2 million Filipinos aged 15 and above.
Mapa said this is higher than the 8.7 percent or 4 million individuals in January 2021.
The underemployment rate, meanwhile, clocked in at 18.2 percent in the second month of the year. This is higher when compared to 16 percent recorded in the previous month, according to the PSA.
Mapa said the February’s statistics is the first data released under the PSA’s new monthly survey.
“Simula nitong Pebrero 2021, ang buwanang labor force survey ay isasagawa sa pagitan ng quarterly or regular labor force survey upang magkaroon ng high frequency data on labor and employment bilang isa sa mga basehan sa paggawa ng polisiya at plano, lalo na iyong may kinalaman sa COVID-19,” he said.
PSA’s data showed that the unemployment rate rose to 17.6 percent in April 2020 following the first lockdown implemented to curb the transmission of COVID-19.
According to Mapa, the latest enforcement of stringent COVID-19 protocols will likely reflect in the April 2021 survey.
Metro Manila and four nearby provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna have been placed under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 4.
On Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte some areas in the country under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) for the month of April due to the recent surge in COVID-19 infections.
The Philippines on Monday recorded 10,016 new coronavirus infections, the highest since the pandemic began last year.
The latest figure pushed the country’s total active cases to 115,495 and the total cases to 731,894, according to the Department of Health.