SWS: Number of jobless adults reaches record-high 45.5%

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) — A recent survey by the Social Weather Stations revealed that joblessness among adults in the country has reached a record high of 45.5 percent.

According to the National Mobile Phone Survey conducted from July 3-6, 2020, the figure was a 28-point increase from 17.1 percent in December 2019 and marked a new record high from the 34.4 percent logged in March 2012.

"The estimated numbers of jobless adults were 27.3 million in July 2020 and 7.9 million in December 2019," the SWS reported.

The SWS said that in July 2020, there were around 60 million adults in the workforce, compared to 45.5 million in December last year.

The pollster defined "adult" as a person 18 years old and above, and "labor force" as adults who presently have a job or are looking for a job.

Adults who are jobless consist of those who voluntarily left their old jobs, are seeking jobs for the first time, or lost their jobs due to economic circumstances beyond their control.

The survey revealed that half of those polled lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.

The SWS said those who lost their jobs during the crisis was highest in Balance Luzon (23 percent), followed by Visayas (19 percent), Mindanao (19 percent), and Metro Manila (18 percent).

The joblessness rate was also up in all age groups, as well as among men and women, and in both rural and urban areas.

The survey was conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing of 1,555 adult Filipinos.