BSP sees recovery in job numbers ‍  | Inquirer Business
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BSP sees recovery in job numbers ‍ 

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 05:18 AM June 08, 2020

The spike in the country’s unemployment rate to a record high 17.7 percent in April due to the lockdown imposed by government to fight off the coronavirus pandemic “does not reflect the true state of the economy and the job market,” according to the central bank.

In a statement issued over the weekend, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said that the government’s latest labor force survey was conducted from April 20 to May 16—the peak of the enhanced community quarantine scheme when “a big part of the economy was shuttered.”

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As such, he said that “the consequent rise in joblessness was state-induced,” and added that, going forward, the job market is expected to recover as COVID-19 containment measures are relaxed nationwide.

“I’m confident that the next jobs report, which is due in August 2020, will show a starkly different picture,” he added. “The next labor force survey will be conduc­ted from July 20 to August 15.”

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Last Friday, the government said that 7.3 million Filipinos were classified as unemployed last April, up from 2.3 million a year ago and 2.4 million a quarter ago.

National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said the latest unemployment rate was the highest since April 2005, when the government changed its methodo­logy in measuring employment. Using a different methodology, government records showed the last time that the jobless rate was double-digit was during the second quarter of 1991.

The central bank chief pointed out that, while the impact of the pandemic on the economy is broad based, its effects across industries are uneven.

“The loss of jobs follow the same pattern,” Diokno said. “Predictably, most jobs were lost in the services sector like wholesale and retail, transportation and storage, accommodation and food, and the industry sector like construction and manufacturing. Agriculture, which was allowed to function during the [quarantine], suffered fewer job losses.”

The central bank chief said that, just as job losses were uneven during the lockdown, so too will job creation be during the transition period.

Construction and manufacturing can easily be restarted, and the entire services sector might be gradually restored, while some industries like air travel, hotels, tourism related firms might take some time to restart due to risk aversion on the part of consumers.

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Governor Benjamin Diokno, unemployment rate
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