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More than 190,000 workers displaced by COVID-19 crisis


More than 190,000 workers from 10,177 businesses have been displaced by the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor department said in its latest report.

The agency said 89% of the workers came from companies that cut their workforce, while the rest lost their jobs because of permanent closures.

It said 41, 560 displaced workers came from the administrative and support service sector. Other industry groups affected were manufacturing with 25,621, other service activities with 24,454, accomodation and food service activities with 18,419, and information and communications with 13,822.

The agency said 11,298 companies covering more than three million workers had flexible work arrangements and experienced temporary closures from March to September.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte locked down the entire Luzon island in mid-March, suspending work, classes and public transportation to contain a coronavirus pandemic. People should stay home except to buy food and other basic goods, he said.

The lockdown paralyzed a number of companies, forcing some of them to cut costs by letting go of their workers.

The Philippines entered into a recession after economic output shrank by 16.5% in the second quarter.

More than seven million Filipinos were jobless amid a coronavirus pandemic in April, driving up the country’s jobless rate to 17.7% — a 15-year record.

As lockdown restrictions loosened, the unemployment rate eased to 10% in July, according to the local statistics agency. This is equivalent to 4.6 million jobless Filipinos, lower than the 7.3 million in April but nearly double the 2.4 million a year earlier.

Underemployed Filipinos — those already working but still looking for more work — eased to 17.3% in July from 18.9% in April, but still higher than the 13.6% a year ago. This translates to 7.1 million underemployed Filipinos, slightly higher than the 6.4 million in April.

By sector, services made up the largest share of the employed population at 54.8% in July. Industry accounted for 18.8% and agriculture 26.3%. — Gillian M. Cortez

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