DOLE concerned over effects of COVID on employment sector

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday expressed concern over the  effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the employment sector. 


"Reeling from the very serious impact of the global pandemic, it is no surprise that the crisis has its highest toll on jobs and employment. We understand that the global pandemic has virtually wiped out the employment gains in the last decade," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement.

"This is something that seriously concerns us," he added.

The Labor chief said this in view of the recent Social Weather Stations survey showing that adult joblessness in the country has reached a record high of 45.5 percent.

Bello, however, said that joblessness and unemployment are entirely two different matters. 

He said a job refers to the type of work that a person does while employment refers to a person with a job.

"The SWS surveys joblessness while the Philippine Statistics Authority Labor Force Survey (LFS) counts the employed," said Bello.

He added that it is the LFS that is the official source of employment information and adopted by the economies globally, including the Philippines.

"The April 2020 LFS of the PSA recorded 17.7 percent unemployment rate or equivalent to 7.43 million unemployed persons. And our own monitoring of job displacements in the formal sector now stands at 3.3 million workers who are either in flexible work arrangements, temporary closure, or have lost their jobs due to retrenchment or permanent closure of establishments," Bello said.

He said with the anticipated enactment of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Bill (Bayanihan  2), the government can provide the much needed assistance to workers in the formal and informal sectors, including affected OFWs, to restart the economy.

Bello expressed hope that a vaccine can be made available soonest so that "we can bring back the confidence of our people."