Joblessness rate among adult Filipinos dropped to 25.8 percent amid the continuing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest survey of Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The SWS said 25.8 percent of the country’s adult labor force remains unemployed, which is 1.5 percent lower than the 27.3 percent found unemployed in November 2020.
However, it noted the figure is still 8.3 points higher than the pre-pandemic level of 17.5 percent in December 2019.
The estimated numbers of jobless are 12.2 million in May 2021 and 12.7 million in November 2020.
The May 2021 survey found the Labor Force Participation Rate at 67.0 percent, or an estimated 47.5 million. It was 66.7 percent or an estimated 46.3 million in November 2020.
The jobless consist of those who voluntarily left their old jobs, are seeking jobs for the first time, or lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control.
Joblessness reached a record-high 45.5 percent in July 2020. It eased to 39.5 percent in September 2020, 27.3 percent in November 2020, and 25.8 percent in May 2021, the SWS said.
The average joblessness rate for 2020 is a record-high 37.4 percent, surpassing the previous record average of 28.8 percent in 2012. The 2019 average was 19.8 percent.
The poll results showed that joblessness rose in the Visayas, from 19.1 percent in November 2020 to 28.7 percent in May 2021, as well as in Mindanao, from 17 percent to 23 percent.
It fell in Metro Manila from 37.8 percent in November 2020 to 30.8 percent in May 2021.
The number of unemployed adults decreased in Metro Manila, from 37.8 percent in November 2020 to 30.8 percent in May 2021; and in Balanced Luzon, from 32.7 percent to 24.2 percent during the same period.
“The 1.5-point decline in the national joblessness rate was due to decreases of nine points in Balance Luzon and seven points in Metro Manila, offset by increases of 10 points in the Visayas and 6 points in Mindanao,” the SWS added.