Sustained government efforts to ease quarantine restrictions and the continuous vaccination drives are expected to retain the improvements in the country’s workforce amid the health crisis, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
Based on the July 2021 Labor Force Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the highest employment rate at 93.1 percent and the lowest unemployment rate at 6.9 percent were observed since the pandemic started in April 2020.
However, despite the latest improvements, DOLE expressed concerns over the lower unemployment rate as this could be attributed to a large number of workers who decided not to look for a job due to the pandemic.
“There is a decrease in the number of employed persons (-3.408 million) and unemployed (-691,000) which can be attributed to the lower labor force participation rate at 59.8 percent, while, there is a slight increase of 2.283 million underemployed workers,” the Department said.
According to DOLE, the imposition of strict quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region and other provinces will “surely affect” the future Labor Force Survey rounds.
“With government agencies collaborating and with people following quarantine protocols and minimum public health standards, we are hoping to mitigate its adverse impact in our labor market and the economy,” it added.
Aside from the government’s initiatives and measures to ease quarantine restrictions, DOLE noted that the implementation of its National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) will help support businesses, workers, and job seekers in this time of crisis.
The agency likewise boasted that its partnership with the private sector to create one million jobs for 2021 is gaining traction and will be a welcome contribution in its efforts to recover lost employment because of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, DOLE called on workers and businesses to continue the strict implementation of minimum public health and safety protocols and occupational safety and health policies to help in the industry’s recovery.
The Department also said that it is now working with the NERS Task Force and various government agencies to assure sustained improvement in the country’s labor market.