The Asian Development Bank estimates the Philippine unemployment rate to have risen to 22 percent in June when the National Capital Region – the country’s economic powerhouse – was just emerging from the enhanced community quarantine.
The country’s employment rate is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, the bank said.
The Labor Force Survey in January showed the unemployment rate then was 5.3 percent, while in April 2019, it was recorded at 5.1 percent.
National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said that while a “very protracted closure of the economy” will be damaging, the topmost priority of the government is still the health of the public.
She added, “The priority remains lives over the economy. But at the same time, having a very protracted lockdown of the economy can also bring about other health problems and this is what we want to address.”