Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s unemployment rate climbed to 17.7 percent in April this year, according to latest data from PSA. Meaning, around 7.3 million Filipinos are jobless due to the impact of the strict quarantine measures imposed as an attempt to curtail the spread of the novel virus.
This unemployment rate is a significant increase from the 5.1 percent recorded in April last year and 5.3 percent posted in January this year.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque attributed the sudden rise in joblessness to the economic shutdown of the Philippine labor market due to Covid-19.
“This is an obvious effect of the economic shutdown when the entire Luzon area was in an enhanced community quarantine where most businesses were closed and many people were out of work and stayed at home,” Roque said.
Thus, the latest number of jobless Filipinos was not surprising, Roque said.
In March, the entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the most stringent quarantine measure, which compelled non-essential businesses to temporarily stop their operations.
Roque noted that the government has implemented various forms of subsidies during the ECQ period to assist workers affected by the pandemic.
Roque said the National Economic and Development Authority is coming up with policies and strategies to help allay the ailing economy.
“Our nation is composed of resilient and hardworking people and we will stand united to weather this health crisis, and together, we will heal and recover as one,” he said.