“This result is expected, given the stricter quarantine imposed to curb the spread of the delta variant,” the President’s economic team said in a statement.

“We reiterate that the safe reopening of the economy, limiting restrictions to granular lockdowns, and accelerating the vaccination program are key to our recovery,” they stressed.

The economic team said, however, that the situation is improving, given that the 7-day moving average showed the number of Covid-19 cases have gone down by around 15 percent since the peak on September 11, 2021.

They said this trend will support the further reopening of the economy and the use of granular lockdowns to allow the majority to return to work and earn a living.

The economic team also noted that as of September 27, some 23.8 million Filipinos have received their first vaccine dose while 20.6 million have been fully vaccinated.

In the National Capital Region over 7 million residents or 72.4 percent of its target population are already fully vaccinated.

Other cities such as Iloilo, Angeles, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu City, have fully vaccinated at least 50 percent of their target population.

They added that 125 million doses are expected to arrive by the end of this year. This will boost efforts to start inoculating minors aged 12 to 17 years old.

“We remain optimistic that our country will be able to recover to our pre-pandemic growth trajectory by the end of 2022 or early 2023 through the accelerated implementation of our recovery program and these pivotal reforms,”

Lower underemployment

PSA meanwhile, however, that the number of underemployed Filipinos decreased by 2.21 million to 6.48 million in August 2021 from 8.69 million in July 2021.

From data, the government estimated that 10.4 percent of the total employed persons comprised the visibly underemployed–or those working less than 40 hours in a week and who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours. This estimate was slightly lower than the 10.8 percent reported in July 2021.

Meanwhile, the “invisibly underemployed” –or those working at least 40 hours in a week but still expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours–was estimated at 4.2 percent of the total employed individuals. This was lower than the reported invisible underemployment rate in July 2021 at 10 percent.

The country’s employment rate dropped to 91.9 percent from the 93.1 percent in July 2021. In terms of magnitude, 44.23 million out of 48.12 million individuals in the labor force were employed.

The data also showed that the country’s Labor Force Participation rate reached 63.6 percent. A total of 48.12 million were part of the labor force in August.

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