Employment Rate in January 2020 is Estimated at 94.7 Percent

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Labor Force Survey


The employment rate in January 2020 was estimated at 94.7 percent. In January 2019, the employment rate was the same at 94.7 percent.

Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) (97.2%), Region X-Northern Mindanao (96.8%),  Region XII-SOCCSKSARGEN (96.7%),  Region IX-Zamboanga Peninsula (96.5%), Region VII-Central Visayas (96.5%) and MIMAROPA Region (96.4%), had highest employment rates while Region I-Ilocos Region, Region IVA-CALABARZON had the lowest with 91.2 percent and 93.3 percent, respectively. The labor force participation rate (LFPR) or the proportion of the labor force to population 15 years old and over was 61.7 percent. In January 2019, it was estimated at 60.3 percent (Table 4).

Workers were grouped into three broad sectors, namely, agriculture, industry and services sector. Workers in the services sector comprised the largest share of the population who are employed. These workers made up 58.6 percent of the total employed in January 2020 (Table 1). Of these workers, those engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for the largest percentage (34.5%) of workers in the services sector (Table 2). In January 2019, workers in the services sector accounted for 58.5 percent of the total employed, with 33.4 percent engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (Tables 1 and 2).

Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group making up 22.7 percent of the total employed in January 2020, while the industry sector had the smallest group of workers with 18.8 percent share (Table 1). In January 2019, workers in the agriculture sector accounted for 21.6 percent and 19.9 percent were in the industry sector. The January 2020 LFS results also showed that in the industry sector, workers in the construction and manufacturing subsectors made up the largest groups, accounting for 50.1 percent and 45.5 percent  of the total workers in this sector,  respectively  (Tables 1 and 2).

Among the occupation groups, workers in elementary occupations remained the largest group at 27.1 percent of the total employed in January 2020 while it was 26.6 percent in January 2019.  Service and sales workers comprised the second largest  occupation group (19.9%), followed by skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers (11.4%), and managers (9.4%) in January 2020 (Table 1).

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 2020,  65.2 percent of the total employed were wage and salary workers, with those working in private establishments continue to account for the largest share. They made up 51.4 percent of the total employed in January 2020 and 51.9 percent in January 2019. Self-employed workers made up 26.2 percent of the total employed in January 2020 and 26.0 percent in January 2019. Unpaid family workers accounted for 6.2 percent of the total employed in January 2020 and 4.6 percent of the total employed in January 2019 (Table 1).

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 2020, 67.6 percent were full-time workers, while 31.6 percent were part-time workers (Table 2).  By comparison, in January 2019, full-time workers comprised 72.1 percent  while part-time workers, 27.3 percent.  In January 2020, workers worked 41.3 hours per week, on average, while in January 2019, the mean hours worked per week      was 43.3.

By definition, employed persons who expressed 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 2020, the underemployment rate, which is the percentage of the underemployed to the total employed, was estimated at 14.8 percent while it was 15.4 percent in January 2019 (Table 4).

Underemployed persons who worked for less than 40 hours in a week are called visibly underemployed persons. They accounted for 58.8 percent of the total underemployed in January 2020 and 50.8 percent in January 2019 (Table 3). By comparison, the underemployed persons who  worked  for 40 hours  or more in a week in January 2020 made up 39.7 percent. By sector, 46.0 percent of the underemployed worked in the services sector, 35.9 percent were in the agriculture sector and 18.1 percent were in the industry sector (Table 3).

The unemployment rate in January 2020 was estimated at 5.3 percent. The same unemployment rate of 5.3 percent was registered in January 2019.

Among the unemployed persons in January 2020,  63.3 percent were males.  Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 42.4 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 32.1 percent. By educational attainment, 26.9 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 10.0 percent were college undergraduates, and 28.7 percent have completed junior high school (Table 3).  Graduates of junior high school includes those high school graduates in the old curriculum.

Among the regions, Ilocos Region (8.8%), CALABARZON (6.7%), National Capital Region (6.2%) and Central Luzon  (6.0%), have unemployment rates higher than the national figure (Table 4).


Youth  Population and Labor Participation

Of the 73.0 million population 15 years old and over in January 2020,  19.9 million were youth (15-24 years old).  An estimated 7.4 million of these youth was either employed or unemployed.  This translates to a youth labor force participation rate of 37.4 percent (Table A).

Youth employment rate in January 2020 was higher at 86.4 compared to 85.8 percent in January 2019. Of the employed youth, 12.5 percent were underemployed (Table A).

In January 2020, an estimated 1.0 million of youth were unemployedwhich resulted to unemployment rate of 13.6 percent which was lower from the 14.2 percent estimates reported in January 2019 (Table A).

Of the 19.9 million youth population, 16.9 percent were Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET) in January 2020. It was higher in January 2019 at 19.5 percent (Table A).

The proportion of youth (15-24 years old) who were new entrants to the labor force was estimated at 8.7 percent, while in January 2019, youth new entrants was 12.2 percent (Table A).

The employed youth (15-24 years old) in January 2020 worked on an average of 38.7 hours per week while in January 2019, they worked for 41.8 hours, on the average per week (Table A).



National Statistician and Civil Registrar General


Technical Notes

  • Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition was adopted per NSCB Resolution Number 15 dated 20 October 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 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  with  the January 2020 LFS round, the  population  projections  based  on  the  2015 Population Census (2015 PopCen) has been adopted to generate the labor force statistics. For comparison, population projections based on the 2015 PopCen was likewise used in the January 2019 labor force statistics.


See more at the Labor Force Survey main page.