Employment Situation in July 2020

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Thursday, September 3, 2020



Highlights of the July 2020 Labor Force Survey


a. Unemployment rate in July 2020 was estimated at 10.0 percent.  This is higher than the unemployment rate of the same month a year ago placed at 5.4 percent, but lower than the record high 17.7 percent during April 2020. Unemployed Filipinos who are 15 years old and over was estimated at 4.6 million in July 2020, higher by 2.1 million compared to the same period a year ago but lower by 2.7 million from three months ago (Table A).

b. Labor force participation rate (LFPR) in July 2020 was registered at 61.9 percent, lower than the reported 62.1 percent in July 2019. In April 2020, the lowest LFPR in the history of the Philippine labor market was recorded at 55.6 percent. In terms of count, there were 45.9 million out of the 74.1 million Filipinos 15 years old and over reported either employed or unemployed in July 2020 (Table A).

c. Employment rate picked-up at 90.0 percent this July 2020 compared to the record low of 82.3 percent in April 2020.  However, it remains lower than the employment rate of 94.6% in the same month a year ago. About 41.3 million Filipinos were employed in July 2020, 42.5 million in July 2019, and 33.8 million in April 2020 (Table A).

d. On average, employed persons worked 38.2 hours per week in July 2020, lower than the 41.8 hours per week in July 2019 but an improvement from the April 2020 estimated average of 35.0 hours per week (Table A).

e. Employed persons who reported  with job  but not  at  work was estimated  at 3.3 percent or 1.4 million employed Filipinos in July 2020, with  COVID-19 pandemic  or  community quarantines  as  the  paramount  reason  given,  similar  to  that  of  the  second quarter. This  was estimated  at  0.8 percent or 328 thousand employed persons with job but not at work in July 2019, and 38.4 percent or 13.0 million in April 2020 (Tables B, and C).

f. Underemployment rate is down to 17.3 percent in July 2020 compared to the estimate of 18.9 percent in April 2020.  However, this underemployment rate is still worse than the estimate in July 2019 at 13.6 percent. In terms of count, about 7.1 million were underemployed persons as of July 2020, given the varying working arrangements and reduced working hours being implemented by companies/establishments. In July 2019 and April 2020, about 5.8 million and 6.4 million Filipinos, respectively, were underemployed (Table A).

g. While most parts of the country eased the restrictions for community quarantine, five regions still reported double-digit unemployment rates. The highest unemployment rate estimate of 15.8 percent was recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR).  It was followed by Region IV-A (CALABARZON), 12.4 percent; Region VII (Central Visayas), 11.7 percent; Region I (Ilocos Region), 11.1 percent; and Region III (Central Luzon), 10.9 percent (Table 4).

h. Labor force participation rate is lower among women at 48.5 percent, compared to men at 75.3 percent. However, women and men have the same employment rates of 90 percent as of July 2020 but more men (19.0 percent) are underemployed than women (14.5 percent) (Table D).

i. Arts, entertainment, and recreation was the most affected sector in July 2020 with a drop in employment rate of 72.9 percent year-on-year, and a drop of 41.4 percent compared to the second quarter of 2020.  Employment rate in accommodation and food service activities came next which dropped by 35.9 percent from last year, although there was an increase of 4.7 percent from April 2020 (Table B).

j. Youth labor force participation rate (LFPR) improved in July 2020 at 38.9 percent, compared to 38.3 percent in July 2019, and 32.4 percent in April 2020.  There were about 7.8 million Filipino youth who were either employed (6.0 million) or unemployed (1.7 million) as of July 2020. In April 2020, about 6.5 million youth were in the labor force, of which 4.4 million were employed and 2.0 million were unemployed (Table A).


(Sgd.) DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
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.  Further, question on vocational course was also introduced in the April 2012 LFS questionnaire. In addition, the 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) was adopted starting April 2016.  The 1992 PSOC had been used prior to this round.
  • In April 2017 round, Computer Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI) using Tablet was utilized in the LFS enumeration.
  • In January 2019, the 2017 Philippine Standard Classification of Education (PSCED) has been adopted. The categories for highest grade completed were also revised considering the K to 12 program in the education system.
  • Starting 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 July 2019 labor force statistics.
  • In April and July 2020 LFS round, ECQ/Lockdown/COVID-19 Pandemic was included in the reasons for working more than 48 hours, less than 40 hours, and not looking for work.  For the first time, a hybrid approach was used in data collection, a mixed mode of CAPI face-to-face interview, whenever possible, or a telephone interview.
  • 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.
  • The July 2020 LFS was conducted from 08 to 31 July 2020. The provision of minimum health protocols like masks, face shield, and alcohol were provided to all PSA officials and statistical researchers who did the survey.