DOLE brushes off rise in jobless rate as 'temporary setback' to recovery

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) believes that the increase in the number of unemployed Filipinos in September was only a "temporary setback" towards a continued and sustained recovery of the labor market.


Based on the latest Philippine Statistics Authority's (PSA) Labor Force Survey released Thursday, Nov. 4, the unemployment rate in the country climbed to 8.9 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August.

The same survey also showed that the country's employment level slightly decreased from 44.234 million in August 2021 to 43.592 million in September 2021.

"These setbacks in the numbers may be attributed to the stringent quarantine rules back in September, aggravated by lesser activities in agriculture due to inclement weather, and the start of academic year – all of which affected the labor force," DOLE said in a statement.

The labor department expressed optimism that the country is now on the path of recovery as quarantine restrictions are beginning to ease up and businesses are slowly reopening.

"We anticipate brighter days ahead for the labor market, as we note the continued decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, increasing vaccine coverage, and the safe reopening of more businesses which is expected to employ more people, given the demand of the coming Christmas season," it added.

Meanwhile, DOLE urged other government agencies to support businesses through the giving of available incentives, providing platforms for jobseekers to facilitate their access to employment, and supporting workers through upskilling and retooling initiatives.

The DOLE also reiterated its call to workers and businesses to get their vaccines and continue the strict implementation of the minimum public health standards and occupational safety and health policies.