Roque now ‘sad’ on 45.5% unemployment rate, says its temporary

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque clarified his earlier statement that he was “glad” that the unemployment rate among adult Filipinos is only 45.5 percent.

“Ang ibig ko lang pong sabihin it could have been worse,” Roque said. “Nalulungkot po tayo.”


(What I meant was it could have been worse. I was sad about the results.)

A recent Social Weather Stations () survey showed 45 percent of adult Filipinos were jobless in July amid the continuous increase of COVID-19 cases and implementation of community quarantines in the country.

The survey was conducted from July 3 to 6, with 1,555 respondents. Results showed unemployment increased by 28 points from 17.5 percent in December 2019, and a new record-high since the 34.4 percent in March 2012.


According to SWS, the estimated numbers of jobless Filipino adults were 27.3 million in July 2020 and 7.9 million in December 2019.

The July 2020 SWS Survey found the adult Labor Force Participation Rate is at 86.4 percent for an estimated 60 million adults. It is lower than the 68.7 percent in December 2019 for an estimated 45.5 million adults.

Also read: Roque: Philippines not Southeast Asia’s new COVID-19 hotspot


Roque now ‘sad’ on 45.5% unemployment rate, says its temporary

Jobless were defined as “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.”

According to the survey, half of the 42 percent with no job/livelihood (one out of five or 21% of adult Filipinos) lost their job/livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic. The other 21 percent lost their job/livelihood before the health crisis.

The remaining percentage either had a job/livelihood at the time of the survey at 47 percent or never had a job/livelihood before at 11 percent.

“Inaaasahan natin na temporary lamang dahil alam po natin na epekto lang ito ng COVID. Babangon po tayo uli, magtatrabaho po tayo muli,” Roque said.

(We expect this to be temporary because we know this is an effect of COVID. We will rise again. We will work again.)

The ratio of those who lost their job/livelihood during the pandemic is slightly higher in urban areas (23 percent) than in rural areas (18 percent).

The highest unemployment rate adult Filipinos is in Balance Luzon at 23 percent, followed by the Visayas at 19 percent, Mindanao at 19 percent, and Metro Manila 18 percent.