Highlights of the December 2021 Labor Force Survey
a. Unemployment rate in the country slightly picked up in December 2021 at 6.6 percent from the 6.5 percent reported in November 2021. In terms of magnitude, the total number of unemployed persons in December 2021 was estimated at 3.27 million, higher by 113 thousand from the 3.16 million unemployed persons reported in November 2021. (Table A)
b. The labor force participation rate (LFPR) increased to 65.1 percent in December 2021 from the 64.2 percent reported in November 2021. The December 2021 LFPR was reported as the highest for the year 2021. The increase in the LFPR is equivalent to a magnitude of about 910 thousand Filipinos 15 years old and over who were either employed or unemployed
c. The country’s employment situation in December 2021 was registered at 93.4 percent, the second highest rate since January this year. Employed persons increased by 797 thousand in December 2021 estimated at 46.27 million from 45.48 million in November 2021. (Tables 2 and A)
d. Underemployment rate was estimated at 14.7 percent in December 2021 from 16.7 percent in November 2021. This was the fifth lowest underemployment rate in 2021. Underemployed persons are employed persons who expressed desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have an additional job, or to have a new job with longer hours of work.
Visible underemployment rate or the proportion of those persons working less than 40 hours in a week and expressed 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, to the total employed, was estimated at 9.8 percent in December 2021, lower than the 11.5 percent in November of the same year.
On the other hand, invisibly underemployed or those working at least 40 hours in a week but still expressed 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, was estimated at 4.9 percent of the total employed individuals in December 2021. This was lower than the 5.2 percent estimate in November 2021. (Table A)
By sector, the services sector consistently had the largest share contributing 46.7 percent of the 6.81 million total underemployed persons. The agriculture sector had the second largest share with 33.3 percent while the industry sector contributed 19.9 percent share of the total underemployed persons in December 2021. (Table 3)
e. The average weekly hours worked of an employed person in December 2021 was 39.7 hours per week. In November 2021, it was lower at 39.6 hours per week. (Tables 2 and A)
f. Among men and women, LFPR among men in December 2021 was higher at 76.1 percent than among women at 54.0 percent. Similarly, employment rate for men was higher at 93.7 percent than among women at 93.0 percent for the same period. Furthermore, men had higher underemployment rate at
g. By broad industry group, the services sector consistently remained as the dominant employment hub absorbing 26.21 million employed person (56.6%) in December 2021. The agriculture and the industry sectors employed 11.83 million (25.6%) and 8.24 million (17.8%), respectively. (Tables 2 and B)
On a month-on-month change, from November 2021 to December 2021, the top five sub-sectors with increase in employed persons were as follows:
a. Agriculture and forestry (1.07 million);
b. Manufacturing (325 thousand);
c. Human health and social work activities (165 thousand);
d. Transportation and storage (146 thousand); and
e. Administrative and support service activities (127 thousand).
On the contrary, month on month changes from November 2021 to December 2021, the top five sub-sectors that shed-off employment were the following:
a. Fishing and aquaculture (-393 thousand);
b. Other service activities (-289 thousand);
c. Education (-217 thousand);
d. Public administration and defense, compulsory social security (-80 thousand); and
e. Information and communication (-78 thousand).
(Tables 2 and B)
h. Youth LFPR in December 2021 was estimated at 36.7 percent. This was lower than the youth LFPR reported in November 2021 at 37.5 percent.
Youth employment rate in December 2021 estimated at 87.2 percent was reported the highest in 2021. Youth underemployment rate of 11.3 percent in December was second lowest reported in 2021. The lowest was in May 2021 at 10.0 percent. Employed youth worked 37.8 hours per week, on average, in December 2021. (Table A)
DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General