Nearly three million Filipinos were jobless in May, official data released Thursday showed, adding urgency on the government to tame inflation that is expected to stay elevated in the near term.
Unemployment was at 6% in May from 5.7% in April, translating to 2.93 million jobless Filipinos, up from 2.76 million during the same comparable period, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
However, it was an improvement from May 2021, or around the time of the delta COVID surge, when the jobless rate was at 7.7%, with 3.74 million unemployed.
More Filipinos were also working fewer hours than they intend to in May compared to April. Underemployment rose to 14.5% from 14% during the same comparable period, the PSA said.
Of the 46.08 million employed Filipinos in May, 6.67 million were underemployed, it said.
The government for the most part of 2022 has kept nearly all of the Philippines under the most relaxed COVID-19 restrictions to allow more business activity for economic recovery.