Eleven million Filipinos were jobless in the last quarter of 2021, results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll released on Thursday showed.

The survey, conducted from Dec. 12-16, 2021, found adult joblessness at 24.7 percent of the adult labor force.

The number was lower than the 11.9 million jobless individuals tallied in the third quarter of 2021.

Despite lower unemployment numbers, the SWS noted that the most recent tally was still significantly higher than the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 17.5 percent in December 2019.

In a statement, acting Palace spokesman Martin Andanar said the lower unemployment numbers were due to the country’s shift to the alert level system.

“This is a clear indication how effective our calibrated strategy of shifting to Alert Level System to further reopen the economy – where more businesses are operating and more Filipinos are able to go to work – while ramping our Covid-19 vaccination drive,” he said.

Joblessness in the Philippines reached a record-high 45.5 percent in July 2020.

It has since been on a decline, easing to 39.5 percent in September 2020, 27.3 percent in November 2020, 25.8 percent in May 2021 and 24.8 percent in September 2021.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused the country to suffer its worst annual average joblessness rate in history in 2020, when the year-long unemployment average was recorded by the SWS at 37.4 percent. John Ezekiel J. Hirro