SWS survey: 45.5% adult Filipinos jobless

A recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) 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.

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.

Also read: SWS: 79% of Filipinos say life got worse in the past 12 months


SWS survey: 45.5% adult Filipinos jobless

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 percentage of jobless 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.

SWS attributed the 28-point surge in the national joblessness rate to increases of 31 points in the Visayas, 29 points in Metro Manila, 28 points in Balance Luzon, and 25 points in Mindanao.

SWS surveyed through mobile phone interviews of adult Filipinos 18 years old and above. Participants were randomly drawn from a database of mobile phone numbers compiled from SWS national and subnational representative face-to-face surveys since 2017.

The survey maintains the sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, and ±5% for Balance Luzon, ±5% Visayas, and ±5% in Mindanao.