Regional unemployment soar into an all-time high

Reference Number: 

SR-2020-026

Release Date: 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Body: 

The Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted in April 2020 (during the height of the Enhance Community Quarantine in most parts of the country) registered the highest unemployment rate across all regions in the country.

The region was not spared from the effect of restricted movement during ECQ with its reported spiked in the latest unemployment rate at 15.6 percent, four times higher than the reported unemployment rate in January 2020 at only 4.0 percent and more than five times higher than the reported rate a year ago at only 3.1 percent. Corollary, the number unemployed persons in the region soar to unprecedented high which was estimated at 228 thousand in the latest LFS. The latest count is more than two folds higher than the highest record in a year at 65 thousand unemployed persons registered in July 2019 or an equivalent percentage increase of 250.8 percent. More so, the latest count of unemployed persons in the region is almost four folds higher than the reported unemployed person in April 2019 estimated at only 46 thousand or about 395.7 percent increase in the latest survey versus the count a year ago.     

Across the country, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) displayed the highest unemployment rate in April 2020 at 29.8 percent, more than two folds higher from its last year record of 8.27 percent unemployment rate or about 260.3 percent increase. In April 2019, BARMM region also holds the highest record in terms of unemployment rate. Cagayan Valley’s neighboring region -Region III, is only a flip away from the highest unemployment rate with its latest estimate at 27.3 percent, more than five folds higher than its unemployed rate a year ago at 5.20 percent or about 425.0 percent increase. Four other regions registered more than twenty percent unemployment rate which includes Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos region (Region I), Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) and Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN). Notably, CAR region which holds the lowest unemployment rate in April 2019 at 2.86 percent placed third in the highest unemployment rate in April 2020 at 25.3 percent. This situation in the CAR region resulted in the record high spiked of unemployment rate across regions at almost nine folds higher than its record a year ago or about 784.6 percent increase.

On the other hand, Region X (Northern Mindanao) recorded the lowest rate in April 2020 at 11.1 percent. The estimate is only about two times higher its unemployment rate record in April 2019 or about 122.0 percent increase. CARAGA region and NCR were also in the bottom three in terms of the lowest unemployment rate in April 2020 with identical estimate of 12.3 percent, the former region climbed three times higher than its reported unemployment rate in April 2019 while the latter region by almost two times higher than its unemployment rate reported a year ago. Suprisingly, NCR unemployment rate in April 2019 placed second and is only two notched away from the highest unemployment rate reported by BARMM. 

 

Indubitably, employment rate in the region plunged into an all-time low which was estimated at 84.7 percent in April 2020. The latest estimate showed an 11.8 percent decrease from the last quarter’s employment rate of 96.0 percent and about 12.6 percent from the reported employment rate in April 2019 estimated at 96.9 percent.  As shown, employment rate in the region remain almost stable for the past four quarters beginning April 2019 and the latest estimate with about more than ten percentage points decrease is novel situation not only during the past year but for the past ten years as well.

The same scenario can also be interpreted in so far as the national average employment rate is concerned where the latest average employment dipped down to as low as 82.3 percent, about 12.4 percentage points reduction from the January 2020 estimate of 94.7 percent or about 13.1 percent decrease and about 12.6 percentage points shrinkage from last year’s estimate of 94.9 or about 13.3 percent decrease from the report a year ago.

Across the country, Region X (Northern Mindanao) registered the highest employment rate in the latest LFS conducted in April 2020. The region’s latest employment rate estimated at 88.9 percent is about 6.4 percent behind its record set a year ago at 95.0 percent. NCR and CARAGA region is trailing behind with identical employment rate of 87.7 percent. Suprisingly, a reversed situation was noted in NCR as its employment rate in April 2019 at 93.7 percent placed the region at the bottom during that particular period.

Meanwhile, BARMM region showed the lowest employment rate in the country at only 70.2 percent. This is 23.4 percent decrease from the 91.7 percent estimate of employed person in April 2019. Region III and CAR is also at the bottom in terms of employment rate in April 2020 LFS with rate record of 72.7 and 74.7 percent, respectively. Notably, CAR region registered the highest employment rate in April 2019 at 97.1 percent.   

 
 
 
 
MARILYN T. ESTRADA
Regional Director
 
 
//GMB
 
 
 

Concepts, Definitions and Explanations

Employment Status Concepts

Population 15 Years Old and Over

This refers to number of population 15 years old and over excluding overseas workers.  Overseas workers are excluded in the estimation of the size of working population (population aged 15 years and over) since the data on their economic characteristics are not collected because they are not considered part of the labor force in the country.

In the Labor Force or Economically Active Population

This refers to persons 15 years old and over who are either employed or unemployed in accordance with the definitions described as follows.

Employed

Employed persons include all those who, during the reference period are 15 years old and over as of their last birthday and are reported either:

Underemployed

Underemployed persons include all employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or an additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours.  Visibly underemployed persons are those who work for less than 40 hours during the reference period and want additional hours of work.

Unemployed

Unemployed persons include all those who, during the reference period, are 15 years old and over as of their last birthday and reported as:

a) Without work, i.e., had no job or business during the reference period; and

 b) Currently available for work, i.e., were available and willing to take up work in paid employment or self-employment during the reference period, and/or would be available and willing to take up work in paid employment or self-employment within two weeks after the interview date; and

 c) Seeking work, i.e., had taken specific steps to look for a job or establish a business during the reference period, or not seeking work due to the following reasons: (1) tired or believed no work available, i.e., discouraged workers; (2) awaiting results of previous job application; (3) temporary illness or disability; (4) bad weather; and/or (5) waiting for rehire or job recall.

Persons Not in the Labor Force

Persons 15 years old and over who are neither employed nor unemployed according to the definitions mentioned.  Those not in the labor force are persons who are not looking for work because of reasons such as housekeeping, schooling and permanent disability.  Examples are housewives, students, disabled, or retired persons.

 

For more information

City Hall Annex Building, Enrile Boulevard, Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan 3500

Telephone: (078) 304-8366

E-Mail: psa_rsso2@yahoo.com.ph