Around 3.50 million Filipinos were out of work in October, down from the 4.25 million reported in September, according to a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey released on Tuesday.
In an online briefing, PSA head Dennis Mapa said the October unemployment rate, 7.4 percent, was the third lowest reported this year.
The lowest reported was in July, estimated at 6.9 percent, followed by 7.1 percent in March. The unemployment rate was the highest in September at 8.9 percent.
The country's economic team said the October labor force survey results "affirmed the soundness of the government's push to safely reopen the
economy, restore employment, and manage the spread of the COVID-19."
"As we relaxed restrictions, more people were able to work while COVID-19 positivity, case fatality, and bed occupancy rates continued to improve," said the team comprised of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, and Budget officer-in-charge Tina Rose Marie Canda.
"Sustaining these gains will allow us to recover to the pre-pandemic level in early 2022, a year ahead of the government's initial estimates," the team added.
The team said more people are employed now than in the months before the pandemic struck.
"Employment creation remained positive as 234,000 more Filipinos were able to find work in the past month," the ream said. It added that this brings total employment to 1.3 million above pre-pandemic levels.
The team said the government's policies that further reopened the economy safely, such as shifting to the alert level system and granular lockdowns from large-area and blanket quarantines and allowing more mobility for
vaccinated individuals, led to better employment outcomes in October.