Skip to main content
Release Date :
Reference Number :


Labor Force


The employment rate in April 2019 was estimated at 94.9 percent.  In April 2018, the employment rate was 94.5 percent.

Regions with highest employment rates were Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) (97.1%), Cagayan Valley (97.0%), Davao Region (96.9%), and Caraga (96.0%) (Table 4).  The labor force participation rate (LFPR) in April 2019 was estimated at 61.4 percent given the population 15 years old and over of 72.5 million.  The LFPR in April 2018 was 60.9 percent.  The labor force population consists of the employed and the unemployed 15 years old and over.

Workers were grouped into three broad sectors, namely, agriculture, industry and services sector.  Workers in the services sector comprised the largest proportion of the employed population. These workers made up 58.5 percent of the total employed in April 2019 (Table 1).  Among them, those engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for the largest percentage (34.6%) of workers in the services sector (Table 2).  In April 2018, workers in the services sector accounted for 56.4 percent of the total employed, with those engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles making up the largest proportion (34.3%) of workers (Tables 1 and 2).

Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group making up 22.3 percent of the total employed in April 2019, while workers in the industry sector made up the smallest group registering 19.2 percent of the total employed.  In  April 2018, workers in agriculture accounted for 23.9 percent of  the  total employed; while  workers in the  industry sector, 19.7 percent.  The April 2019 LFS results also showed that in the industry sector, workers in the construction and manufacturing subsectors made up the largest groups, accounting for 52.1 percent  and 43.7 percent  of  the workers in these  subsectors,  respectively  (Tables 1 and 2).

Among the occupation groups, workers in elementary occupations remained the largest group at 26.5 percent of the total employed in April 2019(Table 1).  In April 2018, these workers made up 26.6 percent of the total employed. Service and sales workers comprised the second largest occupation group (18.6%), followed by skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers (11.8%), and managers (11.0%) in April 2019.

Employed persons fall into any of these categories: (1) wage and salary workers,   (2) self-employed workers without any paid employee, (3) employers in own family-operated farm or business, and (4) unpaid family workers.  Wage and salary workers are those who work for private households, private establishments, government or government-controlled corporations, and those who work with pay in own family-operated farm or business.  In April 2019, the wage and salary workers made up 63.3 percent of the total employed, with those working in private establishments continuing to account for the largest share (Table 1). They made up 49.7 percent of the total employed in April 2019 and 50.3 percent in April 2018.  The second largest class of workers were the self-employed making up 27.6 percent of the total employed in April 2019 while it was 27.2 percent in April 2018.  Unpaid family workers accounted for 6.4 percent of the total employed in April 2019 and 5.3 percent of the total employed in April 2018.

Employed persons are classified as either full-time workers or part-time workers.  Full-time workers refer to those who worked for 40 hours or more during the reference week, while those who worked for less than 40 hours were considered part-time workers.  Of the total employed persons in April 2019, 67.6 percent were full-time workers, while 31.3 percent were part-time workers (Table 2).  By comparison, in April 2018, full-time workers comprised 68.0 percent while part-time workers, 31.0 percent.  In April 2019, workers worked 41.7 hours per week, on average, while in April 2018, the mean hours worked per week was 42.0.

By definition, 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 April 2019, the underemployment rate, which is the percentage of the underemployed to the total employed, was estimated at 13.5 percent (Table 4).  In April 2018, the underemployment rate was 17.0 percent.

Underemployed persons who work for less than 40 hours in a week are called visibly underemployed persons. They accounted for 60.0 percent of the total underemployed in April 2019 and 52.6 percent in April 2018 (Table 3). By comparison, the underemployed persons who  worked  for 40 hours  or more in a week in April 2019 made up 38.1 percent.  By  sector, 47.6 percent of the underemployed worked in the services sector, while 34.0 percent were in the agriculture sector.  Those in the industry sector accounted for 18.5 percent (Table 3).

The unemployment rate in April 2019 was estimated at 5.1 percent.  The unemployment rate in April 2018 was 5.5 percent.  Among the regions, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (9.0%), National Capital Region (6.3%), Ilocos Region (5.9%) and Bicol Region  (5.8%), were the regions with the highest unemployment rates (Table 4).

Among the unemployed persons in April 2019, 62.7 percent were males.  Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 43.8 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 30.9 percent. By educational attainment, 23.8 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 10.7 percent were college undergraduates, and 26.4 percent have completed junior high school (Table 3).  Graduates of junior high school includes those high school graduates in the old curriculum.



National Statistician and Civil Registrar General


See more at the Labor Force Survey main page.



Technical Notes


  • Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition was adopted per NSCB Resolution Number 15 dated October 20, 2004.  As indicated in the said resolution, the unemployed include all persons who are 15 years and over as of their last birthday and are reported as: (1) without work and currently available for work and looking for work; or (2) without work and currently available for work but not looking for work due to the following reasons:

1. Tired/believed no work available
2. Awaiting results of previous job application
3. Temporary illness/disability
4. Bad weather
5. Waiting for rehire/job recall

  • Starting January 2012 LFS, the codes for industry adopted the 2009 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC).  Prior to this, codes for industry used the 1994 PSIC.
  • Question on vocational course was introduced in the January 2012 LFS questionnaire.
  • Starting April 2016 round, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) adopted the 2013 Master Sample Design, with a sample size of approximately 44,000 households.
  • The 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) was adopted starting April 2016.  The 1992 PSOC had been used prior to April 2016.
  • Starting  with  the April 2016 LFS round, the  population  projections  based  on  the  2010 Census of Population and Housing (2010 CPH) has been adopted to generate the labor force statistics.
  • In July 2016, the 2008 Philippine Standard Classification of Education (PSCED) that was used in the 2015 Population Census (2015 POPCEN) has been adopted.  The categories for highest grade completed were also revised considering the new K to 12 program in the education system.
  • In January 2017 round, Computer Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI) using Tablet was utilized in the LFS enumeration.
  • Overseas Filipino Workers are not considered part of the labor force in the Philippines.  Hence, in the LFS, data on economic characteristics of household members who are overseas workers are not collected.  For the LFS reports, they are excluded in the estimation of the size of working population, that is, population aged 15 years and older, and in the estimation of the labor force.

Related Contents

Employment Rate in January 2024 was Estimated at 95.5 Percent

The country’s employment rate in January 2024 was estimated at 95.5 percent.

Press Conference on the January 2024 Labor Force Survey (Preliminary) Results

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announces the conduct of the Press Conference on the January 2024 Labor Force Survey (Preliminary) Results on 08 March 2024 (Friday) at 9:00AM.

Unemployment Rate in December 2023 was Estimated at 3.1 Percent

The country’s unemployment rate in December 2023 dropped to 3.1 percent, from 4.3 percent in December 2022 and 3.6 percent in November 2023.