Employment Situation in April 2020

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Friday, June 5, 2020

Highlights of the April 2020 Labor Force Survey


a. Unemployment rate rose to 17.7 percent accounting to 7.3 million unemployed Filipinos in the labor force in April 2020. This is a record high in the unemployment rate reflecting the effects of Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) economic shutdown to the Philippine labor market.  Unemployment rate in January 2020 was 5.3 percent while in April 2019, it was recorded at 5.1 percent.

b. Labor force participation rate among Filipinos 15 years and older is estimated at 55.6 percent in April 2020, the lowest in the history of Philippine labor market.

c. Employment rate in April 2020 fell to 82.3 percent from 94.7 percent in  January 2020. In April 2019, it is posted at 94.9 percent. This translates to 33.8 million employed persons in April 2020 from 41.8 million in April 2019.

d. Average number of hours worked per week also fell to 35.0 in April 2020, a drop from 41.8 hours per week in April 2019.

e. Employed persons with job but not at work is reported at 38.4 percent or 13.0 million of the total employed.

f. All regions reported double-digit unemployment rates. The highest unemployment rate was in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARRM) at 29.8 percent. It is followed by Region III (Central Luzon) and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with unemployment rates recorded at 27.3 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively.


National Statistician and Civil Registrar General


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 April 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 April 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.
  • 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 April 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 (POPCEN 2015) has been adopted to generate the labor force statistics. For comparability, population projections based on the POPCEN 2015 was likewise used in the April 2019 labor force statistics.
  • The April 2020 LFS was conducted from 20 April to 16 May 2020.