Bali’s unemployment rate jumps to 5.63 percent

A scene from a rice field in Bali. Photo: Unsplash
A scene from a rice field in Bali. Photo: Unsplash

Bali’s unemployment rate jumped to 5.63 percent after more than 105,000 jobs were lost in August, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) reported, as the pandemic continues to batter the tourism industry. 

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said that the government has allocated an IDR3.3 trillion (US$232 million) grant for the tourism sector, set to help cushion the impacts of the pandemic on the sector, which has lost 13 million jobs across the country. 

“At this time, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will be channeling IDR3.3 trillion grant to help lighten the burden for local administrations and tourism-related businesses,” Wishnutama said during a virtual conference held over the weekend. 

In Bali, where tourism plays a dominant role in the regional economy, the province’s unemployment rate is currently at 5.63 percent, compared to 1.57 percent during the same period last year. The latest report provided by BPS on Friday reflects data from August. 

Last month, official data showed that the number of workers placed on unpaid leave in Bali have exceeded 76,000, with over 3,000 having been laid off during the pandemic. 

The Indonesian government has directed efforts at improving health and hygiene in popular attractions, starting with revitalizing facilities in Bali this month, as officials hope to revive the deeply battered tourism industry. 

Meanwhile, 70 percent of the grant from the central government will be distributed to businesses, while regional governments are set to receive the remaining 30 percent. 

In Bali’s Badung regency alone, 713 hotels and 212 restaurants have been identified as candidates to receive the grant, which requires the awardees to have fulfilled their tax obligations.

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