Sixty-three percent of the population 15 years old and over were in the labor force
The number of persons who were in the labor force was at 47.70 million of the estimated 75.30 million population 15 years old and over in 2021. This translates to a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 63.3 percent or 633 in every 1000 of the population aged 15 years and over were either employed or unemployed. (Table 1)
Among the regions, Region X (Northern Mindanao) had the highest LFPR with 69.8 percent, followed by Region XIII (Caraga) with 67.8 percent. Region III (Central Luzon) had the lowest LFPR with 59.0 percent. (Table 1 and Figure 1)
Bukidnon registered the highest labor force participation rate in 2021
Among the provinces and Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs), Bukidnon registered the highest labor force participation rate at 78.3 percent accounting to 807.51 thousand Filipinos who are either employed or unemployed of the 1.03 million persons 15 years old and over.
On the other hand, the percent distribution of provinces and HUCs with LFPR less than 56.0 percent improved from 19 out of 117 provinces and HUCs in 2020 to 7 out of 117 provinces and HUCs in 2021. (Tables 1 and 1a)
The maps below show that among the provinces and HUCs, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur, Ilocos Norte and Mountain Province consistently belonged to the group of dark green-shaded provinces or those with LFPR greater than 70 percent in 2020 and 2021. On the other hand, Zamboanga City, Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-tawi consistently belonged to the dark red-shaded provinces and HUCs or those with LFPR below 56 percent in 2020 and 2021. (Figure 2)
Employment rate registered at 92.2 percent
In 2021, the total number of employed persons was accounted at 43.99 million. This accounted for 92.2 percent Filipinos who are at work or with job out of 47.70 million Filipinos in the labor force. (Table 2)
Among the regions, Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) had the highest employment rate at 96.0 percent. MIMAROPA (92.1%), Region I (Ilocos Region) (91.8%), Region V (Bicol Region) (91.8%), Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) (90.8%), Region IVA (CALABARZON) (89.4%), and National Capital Region (NCR) (89.4%) registered employment rates lower than the national estimate at 92.2 percent. (Table 2 and Figure 3)
Surigao del Sur registered the highest employment rate in 2021
In 2021, Surigao del Sur registered the highest employment rate at 97.7 percent accounting to 282.74 thousand employed persons out of 289.44 thousand persons in the labor force. (Table 1 and 2)
Comparing the distribution of the provincial employment rates in 2020 and 2021, more provinces (17 out of 117 provinces and HUCs) recorded employment rates greater than 96.0 percent in 2021 compared to 7.7 percent or 9 out 117 provinces and HUCs in 2020. It is worth mentioning that no province in 2021 obtained employment rates lower than 84.0 percent. (Table 2 and Table 2A)
The maps below show the employment rates by group, the dark green corresponds to the group with the highest employment rates, that is, greater than 96.0 percent, while the dark red corresponds to the group with the lowest employment rates, that is, lower than 84.0 percent. Compared to 2020, there are fewer provinces and HUCs in 2021 that are shaded in yellow, orange, and red, which implies fewer provinces and HUCs with lower employment rates. (Table 1 and Figure 1)
Unemployment rate reaches 7.8 percent
Of the total 47.70 million economically active population 15 years old and over, 3.71 million were unemployed, which resulted to the country's unemployment rate at 7.8 percent in 2021. (Tables 1 and 3)
Unemployment rates in the National Capital Region (NCR) (10.6%), Region IVA (10.6%), BARMM (9.2%), Region V (8.2%), Region I (8.2%), and MIMAROPA (7.9%) were higher than the national figure of 7.8 percent. (Table 3 and Figure 5)
Olongapo City has the highest unemployment rate in 2021
In 2021, Olongapo City has the highest unemployment rate at 14.4 percent accounting for 14.67 thousand unemployed persons out of 101.88 thousand persons in the labor force. This is followed by Camarines Norte, with unemployment rate registered at 14.1 percent. (Table 3)
Compared to 2020 provincial unemployment estimates, there were no provinces or HUCs with unemployment rate greater than 16.0 percent in 2021. Further, only Olongapo City and Camarines Norte had unemployment rates from 13.0 percent to 15.99 percent. It is also worth mentioning that there is an observed increase in the number of provinces and HUCs with unemployment rates lower than 5.0 percent. (Tables 3 and 3a)
Figure 6 presents the unemployment rates among provinces and HUCs in 2020 and 2021. In 2021, most of the provinces and HUCs are dark-green and light-green shaded, which implies unemployment rates less than 9.0 percent. In 2020, there were more provinces and HUCs with unemployment rate greater than 9.0 percent reflecting the effects of the various community quarantine restrictions, business closures, and physical distancing measures that were put in place in the Philippines starting March 2020 amidst the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Underemployment rate was lower at 15.9 percent
Underemployed persons were estimated at 7.00 million in 2021. This accounted for 15.9 percent of the total employed persons (Table 4). Underemployed persons are employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job or have a new job with longer working hours.
Among the regions, 7 regions had underemployment rates lower than the national estimate, namely, Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) (14.8%), Region VII (Central Visayas) (14.5%), Region X (Northern Mindanao) (14.3%), BARMM (12.0%), NCR (10.2%), Region XI (Davao Region) (9.7%), and Region III (Central Luzon) (7.3%).
Agusan del Sur has the highest underemployment rate in 2021
Employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours are considered underemployed.
In 2021, there were four provinces with underemployment rate greater than 40.0 percent or dark-shaded provinces, namely, Agusan del Sur (51.6%), Occidental Mindoro (42.3%), Aurora (41.6%), and Zamboanga Sibugay (40.3%). On the other hand, Cotabato City (1.7), Zamboanga City (2.2%), and Ilocos Norte (2.9%) recorded the lowest underemployment rates in 2021 (Table 4).
(Sgd.) DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General