The latest data shows that 45.5 percent or 23.7 million Filipinos are unemployed as of July 2020. This is an all-time high considering the unemployment rate last December 2019, which is at 17.5 percent. The highest unemployment rate prior to lockdown was recorded
There are many reasons attributed to unemployment. Apparently, the most obvious of such is the longest-running lockdown that forced people to stay at home and caused businesses to close, initially temporarily and eventually, permanently.
OFWs are also affected. Those who were in their host countries were repatriated since their employers were likewise forced to shut down or suspend their business and lay off “redundant” workers. OFWs who were about to go to their respective host countries were forced to stay home due to the lockdown.
But first, what is unemployment?
For the Social Weather Stations or SWS, unemployment means the worker or employee:
- Voluntarily left his or her job
- Looking for a job for the first time
- Lost their existing employment due to economic circumstances beyond their control
In this situation, the Covid-19 pandemic caused many businesses, specifically Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises or MSMEs, to close down and stop their operations to minimize business losses.
Worse, no sector was spared. Regardless of where you are in the country, unemployment rate is at its peak, which is at 40-something mark. Women were greatly affected with unemployment rate at 56 percent.
In terms of age group, the younger generation were affected the most. Unemployment rate for those between 18 and 24 years of age is pegged at 63 percent. This age group was followed by those between 25 and 34 years old at 49 percent.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find a job as of this writing. The country – and many others around the world – is experiencing recession. This means the economy is gloomy and it will take time before the country gets back on its feet.
What can you do if you become unemployed?
This doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about this. If you are part of the statistics, then there are ways to help you ride this out and survive.
These tips might help:
- Claim for Unemployment Benefits
Even if you lost your job as a result of pandemic, employers are still obligated to give you your separation pay and other benefits. Talk to the HR Department and submit necessary requirements to make a claim.
- Make Use Of Government Assistance Programs
The good news is help is still available. The government, through Bayanihan Heal As One Act, launched several financial assistance programs through various agencies.
Still, take note that not all request for financial assistance will be granted. This will still depend on the availability of funds despite submitting complete requirements.
- Watch Out For Any Job Openings
Despite high unemployment rate, there are still companies that are hiring. Consider looking into job hiring sites to check if there are openings fit for your skills and work experience.
Online work is also available these days. Make sure you ask around from friends and relatives if they know someone who are in need of your skills.
Looking for a new job could be tiring, but you have to try it, right?
- Start Your Own Small Business
While waiting for a new job, consider starting your own small business.
A lot of people turned to social media to promote their products or service. You can do the same. The income may not be as big compared to how much you’re earning overseas, but this could be a good source.
Unemployment is a tough situation to be in, especially at the time of pandemic. Still, don’t lose hope. You and your family will get through this.