TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) head Suharso Monoarfa projected that the open unemployment rate by 2021 may leap to 12.7 million, in line with the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The open unemployment rate is feared to jump by 4.5-5 million to 10.7-12.7 million,” said Suharso in a meeting with the House of Representative (DPR) Commission XI at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Monday, June 22.
Meanwhile, the figure in 2020 was believed to hit 8.1-9.2 million, exceeding the previous prediction at around 4.8-5 million. In 2019, the rate stood at 5.28 percent.
Suharso said the increase in the unemployment rate was attributable to the low performance of the manufacturing industry in the wake of the pandemic. This industry was one of the sectors that absorbed the most labors.
Bappenas’ data showed that 30 percent of workers in the manufacturing sector were laid off. “The total number of workers in the industry so far reached 18 million,” Suharso added.
The surge in the open unemployment rate is feared to raise the poverty rate. Thus, he went on, the government was striving to design a stimulus for the people.
“Without [the government’s] intervention, the poverty rate is predicted to reach 10.63 percent, up from 24 million to 28 million,” Suharso said, hoping the figure would not be in double digits by 2021.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA