Employed but unemployed, COVID-19 dilemma

With the newly reported unemployment rate in the country, it has been indicated that the Philippines recorded its lowest unemployment since April 2020. From 7.4 percent in October to 6.5 percent in November, it showed significant improvements concerning the jobless Filipinos. As the country continues to confront the virus, which made changes worldwide, jobs and other professional works were paused as people were suggested to stay at home for their safety. The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented crisis for the employed, underemployed, and unemployed. On the other hand, the repercussion brought by the pandemic collided with how the country battled with poverty.

In July 2019, 94.6 percent was reported as the employment rate for two consecutive years. Yet they differ in their unemployment rate. In July 2018, there was 17.2 percent, while in July 2019, 13.9 percent was reported. The unemployment rate for both consecutive years has made adjustments that gave rise economically. However, when the pandemic has soon invaded the country, for some reason, jobs were postponed due to the rising cases. The yearly unemployment rate in 2020 reached a record-high 10.3% versus 5.1% in 2019. This corresponds to 4.5 million Filipinos who still do not have jobs yet consider having one. When the pandemic commenced in the Philippines, many suffered as “jobless” due to the mandating of few laws to effectively fight COVID-19. By avoiding personal contact, lessening crowded places, etc., many were forced to close their businesses, stop working, or even submit resignation papers because of delays that put people in a difficult situation. This follows a public demand that instead of marketing other things, why not help the unfortunate in times of crisis. Consecutive months were called an “economic crisis” due to injunctions not adequately catered. The Philippines economy endured a deep recession in 2020 because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with GDP contracting by 9.6% for consecutive years. This was the most significant yearly decline ever recorded since the National Accounts data series for the Philippines began in 1946. In Northern Mindanao, there are massive changes for the unemployed. It was stated that it was the highest record since 2005. The pandemic has brought an impact in terms of livelihood and people’s lives. It almost resulted in famine but was soon acted upon.

When vaccines were already distributed, people were allowed to work and find new jobs again. It was another chance for Filipinos to continue fulfilling their lives. Unlike the 2020 economy status, it was reported that in 2021, the unemployment rate dropped significantly. This follows the advancement of employment rate percentage. On the other hand, the number of employed persons was registered at 41.67 million. This means that the Philippines has somehow lifted unemployment in ways that could also help the Filipino people. Yet, job quality worsens, as they say.

The pandemic has been a hindrance to people who are supporting a family. It also postponed some of the business plans that were plotted to gain interest from some Filipinos nationwide. The first 2-years of the pandemic have devastated many people – employed, underemployed, and even unemployed. In 2021, even though it is slowly going back to normal, still, it seemed the same for people who received an enormous impact of COVID-19. The deep recession in 2020 was a lesson learned to conscious-economist. But despite all of this, Filipinos gained strength again to be hardworking, taking into account the hardships they experienced.

This would be a benchmark for the upcoming cabinet, which will hold the seat for six years. Before we vote for them, let us first determine their qualifications. Why am I voting for this candidate? Is it simply because they are trendy, perhaps due to their parents' achievements, or did false information victimize me?

Consider your vote carefully, since it is not just for you, but for the more extensive welfare of our country.

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