SOCIOECONOMIC PLANNING SECRETARY KARL KENDRICK T. CHUA
FINANCE SECRETARY CARLOS G. DOMINGUEZ
BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT SECRETARY WENDEL E. AVISADO
JULY 1, 2021
Recent data continues to highlight the strong link between quarantine restrictions and labor market outcomes. More stringent quarantines to arrest the spread of the virus had temporarily affected our economic and employment gains in the first four months of 2021.
Nevertheless, the lowering of the quarantine level in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus to general community quarantine (GCQ) on May 15, along with the faster roll-out of the vaccination program, led to gains in labor and employment figures in May 2021.
Labor force survey (LFS) results
As reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the unemployment rate in the country decreased from 8.7 percent in April 2021 to 7.7 percent in May 2021. The underemployment rate also fell from 17.2 percent in April to 12.3 percent in May, the lowest reported underemployment rate since 1987.
Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate increased from 63.2 percent in April to 64.6 percent in May. Coupled with the decrease in unemployment, this led to the creation of 1.5 million jobs between April and May 2021. Following the trend of recovery from the previous months, total employment remains above pre-COVID-19 levels with a net job creation of 2.2 million since January 2020.
These significant improvements point to an economy on the mend. As the economy was further reopened in the second half of May, more Filipinos were able to re-join the labor force and earn sufficient income, as indicated by the lower underemployment rate.
Accelerated vaccination to drive economic recovery
To sustain our gains and achieve a 6 to 7 percent economic growth in 2021, we need to implement our recovery package, which includes the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) adopted through Executive Order No. 140, and accelerate the roll-out of our vaccination program. Both will facilitate the continued safe reopening of the economy to modified GCQ or better at the appropriate time.
With strong collaboration among the government, the private sector, and international development partners, we have sped up the inoculation drive. As of June 27, 2021, vaccine deployment reached 10 million doses. This consists of 7.5 million and 2.5 million for the first and second doses, respectively.
Of this, 829,662 workers have received their first dose from only 11,430 on May 26, following the expansion of the A4 priority group on May 27 to cover all who work outside their homes. We encourage local government units and establishments to coordinate on setting up vaccination facilities in workplaces. This will accelerate vaccine deployment and give our workers the confidence to go out and earn a living while keeping their families safe.
The vaccination of the A5 sector or the indigent population has also started. With an additional 27 million doses scheduled to arrive from now until August 2021, we expect our vaccination program to proceed at a faster pace as we target to inoculate 70 million Filipinos or the entire adult population by the end of the year. Thus far, vaccine deployment has reached as high as 355,000 per day.
We encourage everyone to get vaccinated and to continue adhering to the minimum health standards. By getting vaccinated, each one can help restore the opportunities taken away by the pandemic. Let us continue working together to collectively achieve a strong recovery in 2021.