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Labor group questions unemployment figures

THE labor group Defend Jobs Philippines questioned the recently released data on the Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) stating that unemployment in the country is at 10.3% or 4.5 million jobless Filipino workers in 2020.

While we are one with the PSA’s analysis that last year’s joblessness figures marked the highest recorded annual unemployment rate in history since 2005, we express uncertainty over the concrete and actual figures of this labor force survey,” said Christian Lloyd Magsoy, Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson. ”Given that the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and community quarantines —which caused massive retrenchment and closures of companies — were recorded in 2020, this 4.5 million unemployment figure of the PSA is conservative and far from reality.”

Defend Jobs Philippines cited various independent survey firms which revealed “comparably far” data on unemployment, in contrast with the PSA.

Magsoy said that a Social Weather Station (SWS) survey revealed a 45.5% figure on unemployment which is equivalent to 27.3 million unemployed Filipinos due to the pandemic. According to SWS, the jump in adult joblessness in July 2020 was a 28-point increase from the 17.5% in December 2019 and a record-high increase since 34.4% in March 2012.

Meanwhile, Defend Jobs Philippines also cited the unemployment data issued by independent think tank, IBON stating that there were at least 5.8 million Filipinos with a 12.7% unemployment rate last year.

Official data being released by the government plays crucial role not just for the public to see the real state of employment in the country, but is also important for the government to craft appropriate concrete policies in generating enough decent jobs for jobless Filipino workers,” said Magsoy.