Philippines sees record high in unemployment rate hinh anh 1Traffic in Manila of the Philippines (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Unemployment in the Philippines soared to 17.7 percent in April, equivalent to around 7.3 million jobless Filipinos amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced on June 5.

PSA head Claire Dennis Mapa said in a virtual media briefing that this is a record high in the country’s unemployment rate, reflecting the effects of COVID-19 economic shutdown to the local labour market.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Metro Manila and the rest of the main island of Luzon under lockdown since mid-March to stem the spread of the virus.

Luzon accounts for 56 percent of the country's population and contributes 73 percent to the GDP. Other provinces in the central and southern Philippines also imposed similar restrictions.

The PSA data showed that the Philippines’ inflation slightly went down to 2.1 percent in May, as compared to 2.2 percent registered in the previous month. The country’s inflation now stands at 2.5 percent.

Also on June 5, the Department of Finance said that the World Bank and the country reached a loan agreement worth 500 million USD to support the poor and those affected by COVID-19.

The fresh loan from the WB adds to a total financial support of 4.85 billion USD secured by the Philippine government as of May 14.

The country now has 20,382 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 984 deaths./.