Double-digit Unemployment Rate Feared Following COVID-19 Outbreak

The country’s unemployment rate might shoot up should a recession occur due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the country’s chief economist said Wednesday. 

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority chief Ernesto Pernia said the unemployment rate might return to a double-digit figure following the COVID-19 outbreak from its “historical low” of 5.1 percent in 2019. The country’s unemployment rate declined from 5.2 percent in 2018, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority PSA. 

Pernia earlier said a recession “cannot be ruled out” due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. This could be a result of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine imposed by the government to slow down and address the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Under the strict quarantine measure, home quarantine is imposed, while all modes of transportation are suspended.

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