In August 2020, the open unemployment rate was recorded at 7.07 percent, or 9.77 million people, a decrease of 0.81 percent (in February 2021)
JAKARTA (ANTARA) - The social protection program (Perlinsos), in the context of national economic recovery, could reduce the open unemployment rate in February 2021 to 6.26 percent, or nearly 8.75 million people, according to the Indonesian Finance Ministry.

"In August 2020, the open unemployment rate was recorded at 7.07 percent, or 9.77 million people, a decrease of 0.81 percent (in February 2021)," Director of the General Transfer Fund of the Finance Ministry, Adriyanto, noted during an online discussion on "Ministry of Finance Corpu Talk" here on Thursday.

Adriyanto noted that economic recovery had resulted in the creation of 2.61 million new jobs during the period from September 2020 to February 2021, especially in strategic sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture, trade, accommodation services, as well as food and beverage.

According to the Central Statistics Agency’s data, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the open unemployment rate. Nationally, the unemployment rate in February 2020 was recorded at 4.94 percent and jumped to 7.07 percent in August 2020.

The highest increase in the unemployment rate was observed in Bali and Nusa Tenggara, doubling from the earlier 2.31 percent to 4.71 percent in August 2020. Through the Perlinsos program, the open unemployment rate in Bali and Nusa Tenggara was reduced to 4.26 percent.

Adriyanto explained that the open unemployment rate declined both in cities and villages. In August 2020, the open unemployment rate at the city level was recorded at 8.98 percent, but in February 2021, it dropped by 0.98 percent to reach eight percent. Meanwhile, the open unemployment rate at the village level successfully declined to 4.11 percent, from 4.71 percent in the previous year.

Furthermore, Adriyanto noted that the Perlinsos program was able to contain the increase in poverty rate by maintaining the consumption level of the poorest groups. The poverty rate was controlled to 10.19 percent in September 2020.

"Without the PEN program, World Bank has forecast Indonesia's 2020 poverty rate to reach 11.8 percent. This means the 2020 National Economic Recovery is estimated to have been able to save more than five million people from poverty," he stated.

In 2021, the government seeks to strengthen effectiveness of the Perlinsos program. Some Rp57 trillion, or 39 percent of the budget ceiling for the program was spent as of May 18 to support 9.71 million beneficiary families in the Family Hope Program (PKH), 15.93 million beneficiary families of the Sembako Card, 10 million recipients of the cash social assistance, 2.77 million recipients of Pre-Employment Cards, 3.97 million recipients of the Village Cash Direct Assistance (BLT), as well as internet quota assistance for 27.7 million recipients.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira, Katriana
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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