More jobseekers are now back in the labor market as business confidence recovered after being dampened by months of strict quarantine lockdown, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Citing the latest Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III disclosed labor force participation rose by 3.375 million in August.
During the same period, he noted the number of employed persons also increased by 2.567 million month-on-month, while those unemployed also rose by 809,000.
“This indicates jobseekers’ confidence to enter the labor market and become economically active,” Bello said in a news statement issued on Friday.
“We remain positive that the worst for the labor market has already been reached last year when unemployment peaked to 17.6 percent based on the April 2020 survey,” he stressed.
Another positive development, the labor chief added, was the decline in underemployment rate with 14.7 percent or 6.482 million underemployed workers in August 2021 from 20.9 percent or 8.692 million in July 2021.
DOLE said it is optimistic the trend will continue as the number of fully vaccinated Filipinos against the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) increases, allowing the country to further relax quarantine restrictions.
The government and the private sector, meanwhile, are now able to adapt their operations to cope with the effects of the pandemic.
“We expect our labor market and the economy, in general, to be more resilient and prepared for other shocks that this pandemic may bring,” Bello said.
The labor chief said the continuation of the positive trend in the labor market would depend on the private sector and citizens’ compliance with minimum public health standards and occupational safety and health policies to keep the spread of infections in check.
He said the National Employment Recovery Strategy Task Force is currently coming out with new programs to further hasten the recovery of the labor market from the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis.