The Government of Philippines released their Economic General Information Office (EGI) report for the month of January 2021. This report shows that the unemployment rate in the country dropped to 4.2% in January. The decline is caused by seasonal fluctuations, more so, during the period of the CO VID outbreak. The report shows that the number of unemployed persons decreased from a high of 13.3% in December 2021 to 4.2% in January 2021. Though this decrease is good news, the employment situation in the country still faces certain problems.

As we all know, the number of employed people decreased throughout the month of December 2021 due to the CO VID outbreak. The number of employed people decreased from a high of 13.3 thousand to four thousand in January 2021. So, how did the unemployment rates in the country increase during the period of the CO VID outbreak? The answer lies on the pages 16 to 24. It is on these pages that details on the number of new job openings that were created during the period of the CO VID outbreak. These new jobs represent an increase of almost six hundred thousand jobs.

In looking at the unemployment rates during the period of the CO VID outbreak and the months that followed, it can be seen that the job loss was widespread throughout the country. Most of the states suffered a high level of job loss. The worst hit state was Baguio. The figure shows that more than a hundred thousand jobs were lost in the state in the months of December and January. The same trend can be seen in most of the northern part of the country, especially in Mindanao and Surgeon.

Looking at the March 2021 report on the unemployment rates during the covid-19 pandemic, the report shows that education levels had improved tremendously. The education levels in Mindanao actually saw an increase of three percent. This improvement is attributed to the launching of the Bangus-VA Home Energy Assistance Program. An assessment by the congressional research service showed that almost a quarter million families received assistance under this program. This indicates that the program was very successful in reducing the unemployment rates in Mindanao.

Looking at the monthly CO VID results for the month of March, it can be seen that most districts recorded a decrease in the monthly unemployment rates. However, the figure still represents a rise in the participation rate. The decrease in the participation rate is attributed to the fact that the number of persons unemployed had reached its maximum in December and January. In a nutshell, the most striking feature of this figure is the high rate of increase in the number of persons who restarted their participation in the workforce after being laid off from their jobs. As pointed out by the Congressional Research Service, only three percent of the Filipino families had a steady income in December and January.

With respect to the indicators used by the economists to interpret the current CO VID results, there is no clear consensus. Even though the figures as presented by the CDSI represent a positive picture, the unemployment rates among Filipinos is still considered as high as it is in other countries. One reason why the Philippine statistics are still unstable is because of the high degree of dependence on imported goods. As pointed out by the Congressional Research Service, foreign direct investment (FDI) has accounted for approximately seventy percent of the gross domestic product growth over the past two decades.

 

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