Indonesia’s unemployment hits 10-year high, economy enters recession
Indonesia’s open unemployment rate increased to 7.07% in August, 1.84 percentage points higher than the corresponding month in 2019.
Statistics Indonesia (BPS) estimates that 14.28% of the people in the working age group, or 29.12 million, are affected by COVID-19, including 2.56 million who are unemployed, 1.77 million who are temporarily unemployed and 24.03 million who have experienced a reduction in working hours, according to a recent press release.
The total of people unemployed in August was estimated at 9.77 million, increasing by 37.61 percentage points year-on-year compared to August last year.
Indonesia’s economy officially entered its first recession in 22 years after it saw a fall of 3.49% in growth in the third quarter of the year following a contraction of 5.32% in the second quarter amid persistent COVID-19 woes. The last time this happened was during the 1998 Asia Financial Crisis.
The pandemic has also led to an increase in informal workers and a fall in formal workers, said BPS head Suhariyanto. The number of informal workers rose by 4.59 percentage points to 60.47% in August, while formal workers made up the remaining 39.53% of the country’s 128.45m-strong workforce.
Earlier in June, National Development Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa placed 2020’s unemployment rate at between 8.1% and 9.2%.