Philippines’ Jobless Rate Eases From Record as Economy Reopens By Bloomberg

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(Bloomberg) — The unemployment rate in the Philippines eased to 10% in July, while the number of jobless fell to 4.6 million as more parts of the country reopen after strict pandemic lockdowns.

The number of people without work was down from 7.3 million in April, when the unemployment rate hit a record 17.7%, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Thursday. Still, the jobless figure was nearly double the 2.4 million a year earlier.

READ: Philippines Eases Lockdown in Capital Despite Virus Spikes

Despite a surge in Covid-19 infections that has made the Philippines’ outbreak the worst in East Asia, the government has started loosening lockdown restrictions after economic growth plunged by a record in the second quarter.

The latest jobs data sends “mixed signals,” as unemployment in “very important” economic centers remains elevated, Dennis Mapa, the country’s chief statistician, said in a briefing.

The jobless rate in the capital region, which accounts for more than one-third of the economy, rose to 15.8% in July from 12.3% in April, statistics agency data showed. The ratio improved in 16 other regions.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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