Updates on the Basic Labor and Employment Statistics in the Philippines

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


The member states of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to which the Philippines is a member is composed of about 187 as of the latest count. These member countries usually meet every June of each year at the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Each member state is represented by a delegation consisting of two (2) government delegates composed of an employer delegate and a worker delegate, and their respective advisers. The conference is sometimes called the “international parliament of labour” with its main task of crafting and adopting international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations.

Conventions are international treaties and once adopted by the Conference are open to ratification by the member states.  On the other hand, Recommendations are intended to guide national action and are not open to ratification, hence, not legally binding.  Among the adopted Convention and Recommendation in 1985, the Labour Statistics Convention (C160) and the supplementary Labour Statistics Recommendation (R170) served as the guiding principles in the production of labor and employment statistics in the Philippine Statistical System (PSS).

This issue of LABSTAT Updates presents an update on the basic labor and employment statistics generated in the PSS following the major provisions of Labour Statistics Convention 160 and Labour Statistics Recommendation 170.  Included also in this issue are some presentations on the latest available labor and employment statistics compiled by the Philippine labor statistics system. Also found in Annex 1 is a summary of basic labor and employment statistics in the country with details on the data type, source material/agency, periodicity, data disaggregation and data release schedule.


Labour Statistics Convention 160 (C160) and Labour Statistics Recommendation 170 (R170)

  • The Labour Statistics Convention (C160) as identified by the ILO is the only binding international standards in the field of labour statistics where the core mandate of the ILO Department of Statistics emanated. According to the ILO, the convention establishes the basic framework for the progressive elaboration of national labour statistics programmes.  Countries ratifying it commit to regularly collect, compile and disseminate basic labour statistics on the main labour-related topics.
  • The following subjects should be the coverage of the labor statistics that member states that ratify C160 are obliged to published:

             (a) economically active population, employment, where relevant unemployment, and where possible visible underemployment;
             (b) structure and distribution of the economically active population, for detailed analysis and to serve as benchmark data;
             (c) average earnings and hours of work (hours actually worked or hours paid for) and, where appropriate, time rates of wages and normal hours                      of work;
             (d) wage structure and distribution;
             (e) labor cost;
             (f) consumer price indices;
             (g) household expenditure or, where appropriate, family expenditure and, where possible, household income or, where appropriate, family                            income;
             (h) occupational injuries and, as far as possible, occupational diseases; and
             (i) industrial disputes.

  • On the other hand, the Labour Statistics Recommendation 170 (R170) is the accompanying guidelines of C160 that indicates the basic coverage, frequency of compilation and cross-classification variables for each of the variables specified in Articles 7 to 15 of C160. 
  • Part II of the said Recommendation states that the following major elements should be included in the development of a national statistical infrastructure:

             (a)  a comprehensive and up-to-date register of establishments or enterprises for the purposes of surveys or censuses. Such a register should be
                   sufficiently detailed to permit the selection of samples of establishments or enterprises;
             (b)  a coordinated system for the implementation of surveys or censuses of establishments or enterprises;
             (c)  a capability for the implementation of a continuous and coordinated series of national surveys of households or individuals; and
             (d)  access for statistical purposes, with appropriate safeguards for their confidential use, to administrative records (such as those of employment
                   services, social security bodies, labour inspection services).

  • Since the time of the Labour Statistics Convention and Recommendation in 1985, progress and developments in terms of  data collection (Computer-Assisted Personal Interview), source of data (big data), storage (cloud) and dissemination methods (infographics and videographics) have emerged.  The Standards Review Mechanism Tripartite Working Group considered C160 still relevant and adaptable to these progress and encourages the ILO to actively promote its ratification by member states and assist countries in complying with it.
  • For the Philippines, the labor statistics system collects and compiles basic labor and employment statistics in different frequencies and classifications as recommended by R170.





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