Philippine Labor Force Survey October 1999

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Wednesday, December 15, 1999

OCTOBER 1999 (Preliminary Results)


Philippines October
Total 15 years old & over (in 000) 48,637 48,332 48,024 47,719 47,415
Labor force Participation (in 000)
Rate (%)
Employment (in 000)
Rate (%)
Unemployment (in 000)
Rate (%)
Underemployment (in 000)
Rate (%)
  • Labor force population increased by 2.3 percent from last yea's October figure, bringing the number of employed up by 741 thousand (2.6%) and decreasing the number of unemployed by 19 thousand (0.6%).
  • Services sector leads gains in employment from October 1998 to October 1999.
  • Employment in industry increases by 1.7 percent in October 1999 over October 1998.
  • Employment in agriculture slightly increased in October 1999, by 0.6 percent.


Persons aged 15 years old and over...

  • Persons aged 15 years old and over reached 48.6 million in October 1999. This represents an increase of 1.2 million (or 2.6%) from 47.4 million last October 1998.

Of the 48.6 million persons 15 years old and over, there were those who joined the labor force ...

  • The labor force population or the economically active population increased by 722 thousand (2.3%) over October 1998. This placed the current labor force population at 32.0 million.
  • Those who were not in the labor force, like housewives, students, disabled and retired persons increased by 3.1 percent to 16.6 million from 16.1 million a year ago.
  • The labor force participation rate, or the ratio of those who joined the labor force to those who were aged 15 years old and over, decreased to 65.8 percent in October 1999 from 66.0 percent in October 1998.

Of the 32.0 million persons in the labor force, there were those who were employed and those who were not ...

  • Employed persons in October 1999 increased by 741 thousand (2.6%) to 29.0 million from 28.3 million a year ago. Correspondingly, employment rate increased from 90.4 percent to 90.6 percent.
  • On the other hand, unemployed persons decreased by 19 thousand (0.6%) from 3 million last year. Unemployment rate also decreased from 9.6 percent to 9.4 percent.

Of the 29.0 million persons employed, there were those either working in agriculture, industry or services ...

  • The increase in employment was absorbed mostly by the services sector specifically, among wage and salary and own-account workers.
  • The number of workers in the industry sector slightly increased by 1.7 percent. The additional workforce were mostly wage and salary workers.
  • On the other hand, the agriculture sector slightly moved up by 0.6 percent. Only the wage and salary workers increased in this sector while the unpaid family and own-account workers decreased by 2.1 and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Of the 594 thousand increase in services ...

  • Wholesale and retail services recorded the highest increase at 291 thousand. Next was community, social and personal services at 158 thousand. Transportation, storage and communication services also increased by 124 thousand while financing, insurance, real estate and business services by 21 thousand.

Of the 76 thousand increase in industry ...

  • Both the manufacturing sector and electricity, gas and water sector increased at 91 thousand and 5 thousand, respectively.
  • These increases were offset by the decreases in two other industry sectors. Mining and quarrying posted a decrease of 15 thousand and construction with five thousand decrease.

Of the 70 thousand addition to the employed in agriculture, fishery and forestry�

  • The agriculture sector registered the least increase in employment at 70 thousand.
  • Wage and salary workers contributed much to the increase at 164 thousand (6.4%) but was only offset by the decrease in the number of unpaid family workers at 62 thousand (2.1%) and own-account workers at 33 thousand (0.6%).

Of the 29.0 million employed, there were those who were paid wages and salaries, worked on their account, or worked for the family...

  • The wage and salary workers dominated the working force by posting a share of 49.6 percent or 14.4 million. The increase in wage and salary workers was largely contributed by workers in the services sector.
  • Likewise, own-account workers posted an increase of 200 thousand (1.9%) but registered a decline in the share to total employment from 37.6 percent to 37.3 percent. The increase of own-account workers was dominated by wholesale and retail trade. However, own-account workers in agricultural sector decreased by 33 thousand (0.6%).
  • On the other hand, unpaid family workers recorded a slight increase of six thousand (0.2%). The increase in unpaid family workers was due to wholesale and retail trade from 529 thousand to 578 thousand.

The employed by region ...

  • All regions exhibited increases in employment levels with the Southern Tagalog posting the highest increment of 177 thousand, followed by Central Luzon at 123 thousand. On the other hand, the least number of increase in employment was recorded in Central Mindanao and Southern Mindanao at one thousand and six thousand, respectively.
  • Ten of the sixteen administrative regions showed increases in employment rate with the Cordillera Administrative Region posting the highest increment of 2.3 percentage points, from 91.1 percent in October 1998 to 93.4 percent in October 1999. This was followed by CARAGA, increasing by 2.0 percentage points, from 90.1 percent to 92.1 percent. Central Luzon was third at 1.8 percentage points, from 88.1 percent to 89.9 percent. Southern Tagalog maintained its employment rate at 90.6 percent.
  • On the other hand, employment rate declined in Metro Manila (84.0%, from 84.9%), Ilocos Region (91.3%, from 91.8%), Western Visayas (91.7%, from 92.0%), Northern Mindanao (92.9%, from 93.2%) and Southern Mindanao (91.1%, from 91.3%).

The employed by number of hours worked ...

  • Full-time workers or those who worked for 40 hours and over increased to 18.9 million in October 1999 from 17.8 million in October 1998 or an increment of 1.1 million (6.2%). Its share to total employment also increased by 2.2 percentage points, from 62.9 percent to 65.1 percent.
  • On the other hand, employed persons working less than 40 hours decreased both in number, from 10.1 million to 9.8 million and proportion to total employment, from 35.7 percent to 33.7 percent.

The employed by occupation...

  • Occupation-wise, all groups registered increases in levels with sales workers posting the highest increment of 233 thousand. This was followed by production and related workers at 127 thousand. Clerical workers registered the least number of increase at 24 thousand.
  • Agricultural workers which had the bulk of employment declined in employment share, from 39.5 percent to 38.8 percent. Production workers which had the second highest number of employed workforce also declined in employment share, from 22.5% to 22.4%.

Of the employed, there were those who desired more hours of work, the underemployed...

  • The number of underemployed persons in October 1999 decreased significantly by 286 thousand (4.3%). Correspondingly, underemployment rate declined from 23.7 percent last October 1998 to 22.1 percent in October 1999.
  • More workers in the agricultural sector (47.0%) are underemployed or wanted to have additional hours of work. However, the number decreased by 152 thousand (4.8%) in October 1999.
  • More underemployed workers were also found in community, social and personal services (16.0%). A decrease of 52 thousand in underemployment was noted in this sector at 4.8 percent.

And there were those who looked for work and did not find any, the unemployed...

  • The October 1999 unemployment rate of 9.4 percent was 0.2 percentage point lower than the October 1998 estimate.
  • Consequently, unemployment levels decreased by 19 thousand (0.6%), from 3.016 million to 2.997 million.
  • The National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Central Visayas posted two-digit unemployment rates of 16.0, 10.1 and 10.5 percent, respectively.