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Pandemic drives Philippine unemployment to record high 17.7%

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Unemployment rate rose to a record high of 17.7 per cent in April, with the number of jobless Filipinos surging to 7.3 million as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak shut businesses.

[MANILA] Unemployment rate rose to a record high of 17.7 per cent in April, with the number of jobless Filipinos surging to 7.3 million as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak shut businesses.

The number of people without work increased by five million from a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Friday. Recreation, construction, accommodation and food were among the sectors that saw the largest annual drops in employment.

Another 12.5 million Filipinos said they were not at work despite having jobs in April because of strict stay-at-home restrictions that also shuttered non-essential services and suspended public transport. In January, the jobless rate was at 5.3 per cent.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

All regions in the South-east Asian nation reported double-digit jobless rates. Central Luzon, included in the areas placed on a two-month lockdown from mid-March, was among those with the highest.

The labour force participation rate fell to a record 55.6 per cent in April. It was lower for females at 41.5 per cent compared with 69.7 per cent for males.

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