Employment Rate in January 2019 is Estimated at 94.8 Percent

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Results from the January 2019 LFS (LFS)


The employment rate in January 2019  was estimated at 94.8 percent.  In January 2018, the employment rate was 94.7 percent.

National Capital Region (93.6%), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (93.7%) and CALABARZON (93.9%) had the lowest employment rates while Cagayan Valley and Western Visayas had the highest employment rate at 96.9 percent and 96.1 percent respectively (Table 4). The January 2019 LFS registered a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of  60.2 percent given the population 15 years old and over of 72.5 million.  The LFPR in January 2018 was 62.2 percent. The labor force population consists of the employed and the unemployed persons 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 population who are employed.  These workers made up 58.1 percent of the total employed in January 2019 (Table 1).  Among them, those engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for the largest percentage (33.6%) of workers in the services sector (Table 2).  In January 2018, workers in the services sector accounted for 55.9 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 (35.5%) of workers (Tables 1 and 2).

Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group making up 22.1 percent of the total employed in January 2019, while workers in the industry sector made up the smallest group registering 19.7 percent of the total employed.  In January 2018, workers in agriculture accounted for 26.0 percent of  the  total employed; while  workers in the  industry sector, 18.1 percent.  The January 2019 LFS results also showed that in the industry sector, workers in the construction and manufacturing subsectors made up the largest groups, accounting for 50.6 percent  and 44.9 percent,  respectively  (Tables 1 and 2).

Among the occupation groups, workers in elementary occupations remained the largest group making up 26.8 percent of the total employed in January 2019 (Table 1).  Such workers made up 27.6 percent of the total employed in January 2018.  Service and sales workers comprised the second largest occupation group (17.4%), followed by managers (12.4%), and skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers (11.2%) in January 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 January 2019, the wage and salary workers was estimated at 65.8 percent of the total employed, with those working in private establishments having the largest share at 51.5 percent (Table 1).  The second largest class of workers were the self-employed making up 26.2 percent of the total employed in January 2019 while it was 27.7 percent in January 2018.  Unpaid family workers accounted for 4.7 percent of the total employed in January 2019 and 6.9 percent of the total employed in January 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 January 2019, 71.7 percent were full-time workers, while 27.7 percent were part-time workers (Table 2). By comparison, in January 2018, full-time workers comprised 63.6 percent while part-time workers, 35.2 percent.  In January 2019, workers worked 43.2 hours per week, on average, while in January 2018, the mean hours worked per week was 40.6.

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 January 2019, the underemployment rate, which is the percentage of the underemployed to the total employed, was estimated at 15.6 percent (Table 4).  In January 2018, the underemployment rate was 18.0 percent.

Underemployed persons who work for less than 40 hours in a week are called visibly underemployed persons.  They accounted for 51.1 percent of the  total underemployed in January 2019 and 57.1 percent in January 2018 (Table 3). By comparison, the underemployed persons who  worked  for 40 hours  or more in a week in January 2019 made up 48.0 percent.  By  sector, 48.0 percent of the underemployed worked in the services sector, while 32.0 percent were in the agriculture sector.  Those in the industry sector accounted for 20.0 percent (Table 3).

The unemployment rate in January 2019 was estimated at 5.2 percent.  Among the regions, National Capital Region (6.4%), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (6.3%)  and CALABARZON (6.1%) were the regions with the highest unemployment rates (Table 4).

Among the unemployed persons in January 2019, 64.4 percent were males.  Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 43.7 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 30.6 percent. By educational attainment, 20.9 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 8.2 percent were college undergraduates, and 28.2 percent have completed junior high school (Table 3).  Graduates of junior high school include those high school graduates in the old curriculum.



Assistant Secretary
Deputy National Statistician



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 seeking work; or (2) without work and currently available for work but not seeking work for 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 October 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.

• Starting January 2019, the 2017 Philippine Standard Classification of Education (PSCED) has been adopted.