04 November 2021

The Department of Labor and Employment considers the recent result of the September 2021 Labor Force Survey as a temporary setback towards a continued and sustained recovery of the labor market.

The country’s employment level slightly decreased by 642,000, from 44.234M in August 2021 to 43.592M in September 2021. Similar results were observed in the employment rate with 0.8 percentage point decrease – from 91.9% (August 2021) to 91.1% (September 2021).

On the other hand, the unemployment rate increased to 8.9% from 8.1% in the previous month. The underemployment continued to decrease from 14.7% in August 2021 to 14.2% in September 2021, indicating significant improvements on the quality of work.

These setbacks in the numbers may be attributed to the stringent quarantine rules back in September, aggravated by lesser activities in agriculture due to inclement weather, and the start of academic year – all of which affected the labor force.

We anticipate brighter days ahead for the labor market, as we note the continued decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, increasing vaccine coverage, and the safe reopening of more businesses which is expected to employ more people, given the demand of the coming Christmas season.

As co-chair of the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force, DOLE continues to join other government agencies in supporting businesses through available incentives, providing platform for jobseekers to facilitate their access to employment, and supporting our workers through upskilling and retooling initiatives.

We reiterate our call to all workers and businesses to vaccinate and continue the strict implementation of the minimum public health standards (MPHS) and occupational safety and health policies. Let us continue to be vigilant and avoid complacency by adhering to basic MPHS – proper wearing of face mask and face shield, washing of hands, and social distancing.

The Department of Labor and Employment is working vigorously with the NERS Task Force and will continue to be active in working with various government agencies and support initiatives such as the Task Group on Economic Recovery (TGER) towards sustained improvement in our labor market. ###