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PSA: 9.82M Filipinos laid off from March 2020 to March 2021 —PSA

Almost 10 million Filipinos experienced being laid off a year since the imposition of quarantine measures to arrest the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Thursday.

At a virtual press conference, PSA chief Claire Dennis Mapa said that in the March 2021 Labor Force Survey (LFS), the statistics agency included the question on if an individual experienced temporary or permanent lay-off during the March 2020 to March 2021 period.

“Ayon sa datos, 9.82 million ang mga indibidwal na nagsabing sila ay nakaranas ng pansamantala o permanenteng pagkatanggal sa trabaho mula Marso 2020 hanggang Marso 2021,” Mapa said.

(According to the data, 9.82 million individuals said they experienced temporary or permanent lay-off from March 2020 to March 2021.)

The figure is higher compared to 9.1 million adults — ages 15 and above — in the February LFS round.

Broken down, of the 9.82 million who experienced being laid off, 83.3% or 8.18 million are currently employed or have their own businesses.

Meanwhile, 8.5% or 840,000 are still unemployed while 8.2% or 802,000 are currently not in the labor force or not actively looking for employment.

The Philippines had been under lockdown for nearly nine months, after the first restrictions were implemented in March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The government gradually eased quarantine restrictions since November last year.

However, new COVID-19 cases saw a dramatic increase in the latter part of March, hitting all-time highs since the onset of the pandemic.

The surge in new cases prompted the government to place Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and then under modified ECQ from March 29 to May 14. —KBK, GMA News