The Philippines is seen booking the highest unemployment rate in Southeast Asia, with about eight million Filipinos expected to lose their jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to overwhelm the economy, according to Maybank ATR Kim Eng.
In its ASEAN economics report titled “Labour market: Retrenchments and Recovery,” Maybank said the country’s unemployment rate is expected to hit a record 18.5 per cent this year, the highest in Southeast Asia. This is higher than Thailand (15.9%), Malaysia (6.5%), Indonesia (5.9%). Singapore (4%), and Vietnam (3.6%).
“The COVID-19 pandemic and business shutdowns have led to massive employment losses, unprecedented in both speed and magnitude. We estimate that about 25 million jobs may be lost across ASEAN-6, almost nine percent of total employment because of the pandemic and lockdowns,” the Malaysian financial giant said.
Maybank also said jobs recovery “could take two to four years, depending on the degree of fiscal support, labor market flexibility, and severity and duration of lockdowns.”