For the Asia-Pacific region, around 81 million jobs were lost this year, which can bring up the unemployment rate in the region to as high as 5.7 percent from 4.4 percent in 2019, according to an International Labor Organization report.
Incomes also decreased by up to 10 percent in the first three quarters of 2020, which meant that 22 to 25 million workers may go beyond the poverty line, the report cited.
Working hours fell by an estimated 15.2 percent in the second quarter, and 10.7 percent in the third quarter, compared to pre-COVID levels.
According to the ILO,these factors led to a higher number of 98 million “working poor” in the Asia-Pacific region this year. Working poor are classified as people living on less than 90 pesos a day.
ILO Asia-Pacific senior economist Sara Elder said governments in the Asia-Pacific including the Philippines need to invest more in social protection, employment programs, and services to help job seekers.