The number of Filipinos with no jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic stood at 3.5 million in October, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Tuesday, December 7.
This is equivalent to an unemployment rate of 7.4%, lower than the 8.9% in September, and the third lowest reported in 2021.
However, the unemployment rate in October or the start of the fourth quarter is higher than the 6.9% in July or the start of the third quarter.
The underemployment rate, referring to employed persons who expressed desire to have additional hours of work, hit 16.1% in October, higher than the 14.2% posted last September.
This means that while more Filipinos found jobs as COVID-19 lockdowns eased, more people were also looking for additional work to make ends meet.
More employed men wanted to have additional work at 18%, while underemployment in women stood at 13.1%.
The higher underemployment rate also comes as prices of goods remain high.
“Nevertheless, more people are employed today than in the months before the pandemic struck. Employment creation remained positive as 234,000 more Filipinos were able to find work in the past month. This brings total employment to 1.3 million above pre-pandemic levels,” said the government’s economic managers in a joint statement.
“We are on the right track to a strong and early recovery. Once more, our strategy has been proven correct. The numbers tell us this.”