The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has recorded a 7.7 percent unemployment rate in May, the second-lowest in 2021.

The May unemployment rate was a whole percentage point lower than the 8.7 percent recorded in April.

NCR-Plus—composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal—was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ in April.

It reverted to general community quarantine in May, during which the lower unemployment rate was recorded.

The jobless rate was estimated to be equivalent to 3.73 million people, the PSA said.

The government’s economic cluster heads attributed the dip in unemployment to the further reopening of the Philippine economy.

“As the economy was further reopened in the second half of May, more Filipinos were able to re-join the labor force and earn sufficient income, as indicated by the lower underemployment rate,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua and Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said in a joint statement.

They said about 1.5 million jobs were created between April and May.

The lowest unemployment rate in 2021 was recorded in March, at 7.1 percent. John Ezekiel J. Hirro