A government agency in the Philippines has confirmed that the unemployment rate in the country has ballooned to 7.3 million in just a couple of months. The agency cited the lockdown measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the country as the primary reason behind the high number of unemployed Filipinos.

Although the Philippine government has already eased restrictions in the country, several major areas are still under community quarantine procedures due to the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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Current Unemployment Rate in The Philippines

Due to the lockdown measures, which prevented many Filipinos from carrying out their jobs, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported a sharp increase in the country's unemployment rate. According to a recent press release from the country, joblessness in the country in April reached 17.7 percent, which translates to 7.3 million unemployed Filipinos.

The latest figure presented by the agency was regarded as a record-high in terms of unemployment in the country. Earlier in January, which was a couple of months before community quarantines were implemented, the rate of joblessness in the Philippines was at 5.3 percent. "This is a record high in the unemployment rate reflecting the effects of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) economic shutdown to the Philippine labor market," the agency stated in a press release.

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Effect Of COVID-19 On Unemployment

As COVID-19 continues to hit the Philippines, which has already surpassed 20,000 confirmed cases as of this writing, the implementation of lockdowns and quarantine measures in the country will most likely be extended. According to an official from the country's Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), this could cause the employment rate in the country to continue to increase.

Last month, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III reported during a previous senate hearing that the ongoing disease outbreak in the country could leave about 10 million Filipinos jobless within the next couple of months. Bello noted that many of those who were and might be affected by the ongoing crisis brought on by COVID-19 are from the service sector. "Most of them are in the service sector," he said according to Rappler. "Tourism was also hard hit, including the allied businesses like restaurants, then transportation."