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Central Luzon unemployment steadily declining until Covid-19 hit – NEDA

The unemployment rate in Central Luzon is showing a marked decline as more businesses open up towards economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, a NEDA official said over the weekend.

During the second episode of the Dagyaw Central Luzon: The Open Government Virtual Town Hall Meeting 2020, National Economic and Development Authority OIC-Regional Director Agustin Mendoza said the double-digit unemployment rate in the region from 1991 to 2003 gradually dropped to a single digit in 2019.

“From 1991, it was still in double digits, until the year 2003 at 11 percent. It dropped gradually to single digit only until 2019,” he said.

“But due to Covid-19, the region’s unemployment rate again doubled in July 2020, hitting 10.9 percent,” Mendoza said in a Philippine Information Agency (PIA) report.

But he assured the public that the double-digit unemployment rate in the region “is only temporary” due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“In April 2020, Central Luzon had one of the highest unemployment statistics at 27.3 percent. But as of July 2020, the region has one of the lowest unemployment rates at 10.9%. In our calculation, it may go down until the end of the current year and return to a single digit,” Mendoza said.

Based on labor statistics, Central Luzon has 4.55 million workers, while 550,000 individuals still need to find work through increased investment and the implementation of infrastructure and government programs.