The labor department had anticipated that the improvement in employment reported in March 2021 will not be sustained due to the imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) within the NCR plus bubble in March to April, and Modified Enhance Community Quarantine (MECQ) from 1 to 15 May.

This had significantly affected the April 2021 Labor Force Survey (LFS) result as businesses and mobility of workers were again restricted to contain the spread of the virus.

Unemployment rate increased to 8.7% (4.138 million unemployed) from 7.1% (3.441 million unemployed) in March. Similarly, the number of underemployed persons has slightly increased by 118,000 at 7.453 million (17.2%) from the 7.335 million (16.2%) in March 2021.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is one with the economic managers in safely reopening businesses so mobility of workers is also facilitated in a less restrictive community quarantine levels. This is the only way to sustain our employment recovery and economic recovery efforts.

The current labor market condition may be improved by the timely rollout of vaccines for A4 categories of priority groups – the workers. We call upon all Filipino workers to get themselves inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines.

We also reiterate our call upon all workers and businesses to continue the strict implementation of the minimum public health standards (MPHS), and occupational safety and health policies. We need to instill discipline in adhering to basic MPHS – proper wearing of face mask and face shield, washing of hands, and social distancing.

Rest assured that the DOLE will continue to work with various government agencies and support initiatives such as the Task Group on Economic Recovery (TGER) and the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force towards a safe re-opening of the economy and sustained improvement in our labor market.

We commit ourselves to fast tracking the policies and programs specified in the NERS 8-Point Employment Recovery Agenda.