COVID surge, Odette aftermath appears to affect job recovery – DOLE – Manila Bulletin



The further increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country and the recent consequences of Typhoon “Odette” could hamper the expected recovery of the country’s employment sector, the Ministry of Labor and Employment said ( DOLE).

(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

In his statement on the November 2021 Labor Force Survey, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said recent survey results affirmed the department’s view that the country was on track to the recovery of the labor market.

However, Bello said the onslaught of Typhoon Odette and the surge in COVID-19 infections from the Omicron variant “would derail a sustained economic and employment recovery.”

Based on the latest survey, employment in the country increased significantly by 1.651 million, from 43.826 million in October 2021 to 45.477 million in November 2021.

Similar results were also seen in the employment rate of 92.6% to 93.5% during the same period.

While the unemployment rate fell drastically from 7.4% (October 2021) to 6.5% (November 2021), the level of underemployment increased by 573,000, which Bello said is a “a reminder that there is still a lot to be done to improve the quality of the work.”

The labor chief attributed the results to the easing of quarantine restrictions in November last year in many areas, including Metro Manila which was placed under Alert Level 2.

“This has allowed commercial establishments, including resorts and restaurants with a significant contribution to employment, to operate at 80% of their capacity, which has created more employment opportunities for workers. and a business request, ”he said.

With the current outbreak resulting in tighter restrictions, Bello assured the ministry is ready to provide assistance to workers who will be affected.

DOLE said earlier it had already allocated around £ 1 billion in aid to formal sector workers who could be affected by the stricter alert level, while emergency employment programs and a livelihood assistance are also in place.

“The whole government continues to work to increase vaccination coverage, safely reopen more businesses and focus on improving the labor market through the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) 2021- 2022, “said Bello.

Bello also urged Filipino workers to get their injections or boosters already, and to strictly adhere to minimum public health standards and occupational safety and health policies to ensure the continued recovery of the sector.

“[DOLE] remains committed to working with the NERS working group and the private sector to actively support initiatives aimed at improving and relaunching our labor market in a sustainable way, ”he added.


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