Employment Rate in October 2017 is Estimated at 95.0 Percent

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Results from the October 2017 Labor Force Survey (LFS)



October 2017a/

October 2016

  Population 15 years and over (in 000)



  Labor Force Participation Rate (%)



  Employment Rate (%)



  Unemployment Rate (%)



  Underemployment Rate (%)



a/ Estimates for October 2017 are preliminary and may change.



The employment rate in October 2017 was estimated at 95.0 percent.  In October 2016, the employment rate was 95.3 percent.
Regions with lowest employment rates were Ilocos Region (91.8%), National Capital Region (NCR) (93.9%), and Central Luzon (94.0%) (Table 4).  The labor force participation rate (LFPR) in October 2017 was estimated at 62.1 percent given the population 15 years old and over of 70.4 million.  The LFPR in October 2016 was 63.6 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 population who are employed.  These workers made up 57.0 percent of the total employed in October 2017 (Table 1).   Among them, those engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for the largest percentage (34.8%) of workers in the services sector (Table 2).  In October 2016, workers in the services sector accounted for 54.6 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 (35.4%) of workers (Tables 1 and 2).
Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group making up 25.0 percent of the total employed in October 2017, while workers in the industry sector made up the smallest group registering 18.1 percent of the total employed.  In October 2016, workers in agriculture accounted for 28.3 percent of  the  total employed; while  workers in the  industry sector, 17.1 percent.  The October 2017 LFS results also showed that in the industry sector, workers in the manufacturing and construction subsectors made up the largest groups, accounting for 48.2 percent  and 47.0 percent  of  the workers in these  subsectors,  respectively  (Tables 1 and 2).
Among the occupation groups, workers in the elementary occupations remained the largest group making up 25.6 percent of the total employed in October 2017 (Table 1).  In October 2016, such workers made up 27.5 percent of the total employed in that period.  Managers comprised the second largest occupation group (16.0%), followed by service and sales workers (15.3%), and skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers (13.5%) in October 2017.
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 October 2017, the wage and salary workers made up 62.3 percent of the total employed, with those working in private establishments continuing to account for the largest share (Table 1).  They made up 48.6 percent of the total employed in October 2017 and 47.6 percent in October 2016.  The second largest class of workers were the self-employed making up 27.9 percent of the total employed in October 2017 while it was 27.6 percent in October 2016.  Unpaid family workers accounted for 6.0 percent of the total employed in October 2017 and 8.6 percent of the total employed in October 2016.
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 October 2017, 67.3 percent were full-time workers, while 32.0 percent were part-time workers (Table 2).  By comparison, in October 2016, full-time workers comprised 65.7 percent while part-time workers, 33.5 percent.  In October 2017, workers worked 41.7 hours per week, on average, the same with that of October 2016.
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 October 2017, the underemployment rate, which is the percentage of the underemployed to the total employed, was estimated at 15.9 percent (Table 4).  In October 2016, 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 53.9 percent of the  total underemployed in October 2017 and 54.1 percent in October 2016 (Table 3).  By comparison, the underemployed persons who  worked  for 40 hours  or more in a week made up 44.8 percent.  By  sector, 47.9 percent of the underemployed worked in the services sector, while 32.6 percent were in the agriculture sector.  Those in the industry sector accounted for 19.5 percent (Table 3).
The unemployment rate in October 2017 was estimated at 5.0 percent.  The unemployment rate in October 2016 was 4.7 percent.  Among the regions, Ilocos Region (8.2%), NCR (6.1%) and Central Luzon (6.0%) were the regions with the highest unemployment rates (Table 4).
Among the unemployed persons in October 2017, 64.2 percent were males.  Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 43.9 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 28.9 percent. By educational attainment, 20.4 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 14.1 percent were college undergraduates, and 30.6 percent have completed junior high school (Table 3).  Graduates of junior high school includes 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 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.