Highlights of the October 2020 Labor Force Survey
a. The country’s unemployment rate in October 2020 was estimated at 8.7 percent. This is equivalent to 3.8 million unemployed Filipinos who are 15 years old and over. This unemployment rate is the lowest since April this year although it is still higher than the 4.6 percent (or about 2.0 million unemployed Filipinos who are 15 years old and over) in the same period a year ago. (Table A)
b. Labor force participation rate (LFPR) in October 2020 was 58.7 percent or 43.6 million Filipinos reported as either employed or unemployed. This is the second lowest LFPR reported in the history of the Philippine labor market following the record low of 55.7 percent reported in April 2020. In October 2019, the LFPR was posted at 61.4 percent, translating to 44.6 million Filipinos in October 2019. (Table A)
c. Employment rate in October 2020 was reported at 91.3 percent. This translated to about 39.8 million employed Filipinos out of the 43.6 million who were in the labor force. This employment rate was the highest since April 2020. In October 2019, employment rate was estimated at 95.4 percent or 42.5 million employed persons. (Table A)
d. The weekly average hours worked increased since April 2020. In October 2020, employed persons worked an average of 40.8 hours per week, an improvement from the 38.2 hours, and 35.0 hours reported in July 2020, and April 2020, respectively. However, this is still lower than the mean 42.0 hours per week reported in October 2019. (Table A)
e. Employed persons reported with job but not at work was estimated at 1.0 percent or 387 thousand in October 2020. This is the lowest number reported since April 2020 with the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic or community quarantines as the paramount reasons expressed by most employed persons as reason for having a job but not at work. In October 2019, 0.8 percent or 323 thousand employed persons were reported with job but not at work. (Tables B, and C)
f. Underemployment rate further declined in October 2020 at 14.4 percent from the rates in April and July 2020 at 18.9 percent, and 17.3 percent, respectively. However, this underemployment rate is still higher than the October 2019 rate at 12.8 percent. (Table A)
g. At the regional level, three regions still reported double-digit unemployment rates. These are the National Capital Region (NCR), which had the highest unemployment rate estimate at 12.4 percent, followed by the Region I (Ilocos Region) at 11.5 percent, and the Region IV-A (CALABARZON) at 11.0 percent. (Table 4a)
h. All regions reported a decrease in LFPR from July to October this year. (Table 4a)
i. In October 2020, LFPR was lower among women at 45.0 percent, compared to men at 72.3 percent. Employment rates for men, and women were reported at 91.3 percent, and 91.1 percent, respectively. However, underemployment rate was higher in men (15.9%) than in women (12.0 percent). (Table D)
j. By industry group, in October 2020, the Services sector was the dominant industry with about 57.2 percent share, followed by the Agriculture sector with about 24.5 percent share. (Table B)
In terms of year-on-year employment growth rate among the sub-sectors, arts, entertainment and recreation had the highest decline at 38.2 percent, followed by accommodation and food service activities at 33.2 percent. On the other hand, water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities had the highest year-on-year employment growth rate (23.2%) followed by fishing and aquaculture (5.4%), and education (5.2%). (Table B)
k. Youth LFPR was reported 33.9 percent or about 6.8 million youth in October 2020. This is lower than the reported 38.9 percent in July 2020, although higher than the 32.4 percent in April 2020. The youth LFPR in October 2019 was reported at 37.1 percent.
On the other hand, the number of employed youth dropped to about 5.5 million in October 2020 from the July 2020 at 6.0 million. Meanwhile, unemployed youth was reported at 1.3 million in October 2020 from 1.7 million in July 2020. (Table A)
DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General