Labor Turnover Survey

Technical Notes



The Labor Turnover Survey (LTS) aims to provide quarterly trend statistics on labor turnover and existing job vacancies as indicators of labor market activity and general business situation of the country.


The information gathered in this survey is intended to generate timely labor market signals as sound basis in planning, policy formulation and decision making.


Main topics covered by the survey include total accession (expansion and replacement), total separation (employee-initiated and employer-initiated), reasons for separation, number of job vacancies, and number of agency-hired workers.


The LTS 2019 will be implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) only with semi-annual frequency of conduct. Below is the timetable of field operations:


The LTS 2019 covers establishments with 20 or more workers located in NCR as listed by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The survey covers 18 major industries classified according to the amended 2009 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC).


Establishments - refers to an economic unit engaged in one or predominantly one kind of economic activity under a single ownership or control at a single fixed location.

Main economic activity - refers to the activity that contributes the biggest or major portion of the gross income or revenues of the establishment.

Major products/goods or services - refer to the specific products/goods produced or service given by the establishment.

Total Employment - refers to the number of persons who worked or received pay from the establishment during the reference period. This includes the following:

1) Working Owners – owners who are actively engaged in the management of the establishment but do not receive regular pay;

2) Unpaid Workers – persons working without pay, and work for at least 1/3 of the working time normal to the establishment; and

3) Paid Officials and Workers – include full-time/part-time workers; employees on paid leaves (e.g., sick/vacation/ maternity/holiday/study leave); and employees working away from the establishment but paid by and under the control of the firm.

Excluded are workers hired through contractor/agency.

Labor Turnover – refers to the changes in the employment of an establishment resulting from accessions and separations.

Total Accessions (New hires) – refer to permanent or temporary additions to employment in the establishment due to 1) expansion of business activity and 2) replacement of separated workers and employment resulting from changes in methods/technology of production or service.

Separations – refer to terminations of employment due to a) quits or terminations initiated by employees and b) layoffs or terminations initiated by the employers due to economic reasons (e.g., lack of market, financial losses, redundancy, end of contract) and non-economic reasons (e.g., gross negligence, AWOL).

Agency-Hired Workers – refer to workers hired through agencies/ contractors to perform or complete a job, work or service within the premises of the establishment as of the last working day of each month. They are excluded from the total employment of the establishment.

Existing Job Vacancies – refer to the number of unfilled job openings at the end of the quarter which are immediately available for placement and for which active recruitment steps are being taken.


Industrial Classification: The industrial classification of an establishment is reflected in the main economic activity that contributes the major portion of the gross income or revenues. To classify economic units, the 2009 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC) will be used. The 2009 PSIC was approved for adoption by government and instrumentalities through PSA Resolution No. 1 Series 2017-158. The PSIC is utilized to secure uniformity and comparability of industrial statistics produced by various agencies in both government and private sectors.

Economic Organization: The Economic Organization (EO) relates to the organizational structure or role of the establishment in the organization.

Legal Organization: The Legal Organization (LO) refers to the legal form of the economic entity that owns the establishment. This provides the legal basis for ownership.

Geographic Classification: Establishments are also classified by geographic area using the Philippine Standard Geographic Code (PSGC). PSGC is the 9-digit code used to denote the geographic location of the establishment. The first and second digits refer to the region, the third and fourth digits to the province, the sixth digits to the city/municipality and the last three digits to the barangay.

Employment Size of Establishment: The size (SZ) of the establishment is determined by its total employment as of specific date. The following are the employment size classification with the corresponding codes:


Statistical unit: The statistical unit is the establishment.

Survey universe/sampling frame: The establishment sampling frame for the 2019 Labor Turnover Survey was extracted from the preliminary 2018 List of Establishments (LE) as of 08 January 2019.

This list was a product of the 2018 Updating of List of Establishments (ULE). The updating involved complete enumeration of establishments in the barangays where “no matched” establishments (establishments listed in other sources but not in the LE) from prioritized secondary sources are located, barangays with new malls, barangays having establishments with total employment of 100 and over, barangays with the highest number of establishments from the typhoon Yolanda affected cities/municipalities and barangays and barangays with the highest number of establishments for some provinces. Also covered using mail inquiry, were other “no matched” establishments including those located in distant barangays.

Other sources of updates are the survey feedbacks from the 2016 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) and 2018 3rd Quarter Labor Turnover Survey (LTS).

A total of 18,326 establishments in NCR with employment size of at least 20 workers extracted from the 2018 List of Establishments in the country comprised the LTS 2019 sampling frame.

Sampling Design: The establishment is the unit of enumeration. The 18,326 establishments in NCR included in the frame were stratified based on the eighteen (18) sections as domains.

The initial sample size per stratum was obtained by taking into account the computed highest Coefficient of Variation (CVh) at the national level between the estimates on Accession and Separation rates from the final result of the 3rd Quarter 2018 LTS and a target Coefficient of Variation.

The formula used is as follows:


ni = initial sample size

CVhj = highest coefficient of variation in the jth section

rj = number of responding from the 3Q LTS 2018 data in the j j th section

CVt = target coefficient of variation

The distribution of computed samples over domains was done using Kish’s allocation procedure. The formula is defined as:


nj = sample size in the jth section

nk = initial sample size

L = total number of strata (Section)

I = set at 0.5 to allow approximately equal allocation for each s stratum

Wh = population weight which is equal to (Nh/N),


Nh = population size for hth stratum

N = total population size


Data collection: Data collection methods include personal interview and facsimile. In some instances, respondents are contacted through phone to ascertain their location, establish initial contact, and/or to verify submitted figures.

Substitution of sampling units : No replacement of sample establishments are made as the final sample has already been adjusted.


Data are manually and electronically processed. Upon collection of accomplished questionnaires, enumerators perform field editing before leaving the establishment to ensure completeness, consistency and reasonableness of entries in accordance with the field operations manual. The forms are again checked by field supervisors for data consistency and completeness. The PSA personnel undertake the final review, coding of the main economic activity of the establishment using the Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC), coding of the occupations (for vacancies) using the Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC), data entry and validation, and scrutiny of aggregated results for coherence. Questionnaires with incomplete or inconsistent entries are returned to the enumerator/s for verification with the establishments. Verification is done personally or through phone interview.

CS Pro is used as the data processing system. After checking the completeness and consistency of the data using the system, data files are submitted to the central office thru the Digital Retrieval Access and Workflow for Enhanced Response (DRAWER) for re-validation. Statistical tables are then generated using the system.


Labor turnover rates (total accession, total separation and percent difference), by major industry; Number of job vacancies by major industry and major occupation; and percent share of reasons initiated by the employers and employees.


Estimates are obtained by simple expansion, i.e., by multiplying the sample values at the industry level by the corresponding blowing-up factor (BUF) which is the ratio of the estimated population of establishments to the number of responding establishments. These estimates are then aggregated to the desired totals. This weighing procedure takes non-response into account.



A = total accession

AEijkl = total number of accession due to expansion of thelth establishment during the kth month covered by the survey with employment size j in major industry i

APijkl = total number of accession due to replacement of thelth establishment during the kth month covered by the survey with employment size j in major industry i





S = total separation

SEijkl = total number of employee-initiated separation of the lth establishment during the kth month covered by the survey with employment size j in major industry i

SRijkl = total employer-initiated separation of the lth establishment during the kth month covered by the survey with employment sizej in major industry i


Accession Rate



AR = accession rate

A = total accession

E = total employment

Separation Rate


SR = separation rate

S = total separation

E = total employment


Labor Turnover Rate


AR = accession rate

SR = separation rate


No adjustments are made for seasonal variations, non-response or for any other bias. No benchmark data or any data from other surveys are used.


Coverage of the sampling frame: Updated annually.

Non-sampling errors: These may occur due to inaccuracies in reporting by establishments and enumerators, mistakes in coding, editing, and data entry. However, efforts are made to reduce non-sampling errors by careful design of the questionnaire, intensive training of survey personnel, linkages with key informants (employers’ and workers’ groups, government agencies and the academe), and through adoption and documentation of efficient operating procedures.

Conformity with other sources: The survey results are checked for consistency with the results of previous LTS data, Labor Force Survey, and National Accounts.


Prior to 1989, statistics on labor turnover and layoffs were derived from two mandatory reports submitted by employers to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). These reports were the Monthly Employment Report and the Employer’s Termination Report which were submitted in compliance with the implementing rules and regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines. However, due to low compliance rates, coverage was limited and the Department was unable to come up with an accurate picture of the dynamics of the labor market.

In 1988, a special study funded by the former National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) entitled “Improvement of Client-Based Statistics on Labor and Employment,” was undertaken. Among others, the study recommended the conduct of a national survey of establishments to inquire on labor turnover, vacancies and layoffs to adequately monitor the labor market performance of the business sector. This recommendation paved way for the conduct of the Employment, Hours and Earnings Survey (EHES).

From 1989 to 1997, the EHES was conducted as a rider to the then Quarterly Survey of Establishments (QSE) of the former National Statistics Office (NSO). The survey was designed to collect quarterly data on labor turnover, hours of work, layoffs and job vacancies.

The EHES was revised in 1998 and this entailed the redesigning of the questionnaire and modification of the sampling design in conformance with the 1994 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification. Moreover, the field data collection was assumed by the former Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) in coordination with the DOLE Regional Offices. The revised EHES was conducted from 1998 to 2000 but temporarily discontinued in 2001 due to severe budget constraints. It was resumed in the first semester of 2002 but the coverage was limited only to the National Capital Region and was again discontinued for lack of budget.

In the 2nd semester of 2002, the DOLE Secretary instructed the former BLES to collect quarterly data on labor turnover to complement the data on establishment closures and layoffs. This became the forerunner of the current LTS and was in place from 2002 to 2007. The new survey was designed with “enterprise” as the sampling unit instead of the “establishment” in the EHES. To be manageable and to come up with the results the shortest time possible, the survey was limited in Metro Manila where the bulk of the country’s business enterprises were located. The sample size was fixed at 500 enterprises that were selected through stratified random sampling. Two strata were formed with the first 200 top firms (based on revenue) comprising the first stratum, all of them included as samples. The rest of the enterprises formed the second stratum from which the 300 samples were drawn randomly. The survey results were released based on sample data only.

In 2008, further improvements were made with the introduction of Kish’s allocation formula to reflect better industry representation. Also, released survey results were based on weighted data and the sample size was no longer fixed but was computed using the formula as previously discussed.

Starting 4th quarter of 2013, the LTS is being conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) due to the implementation starting September 12, 2013 of the Republic Act 10625, otherwise known as the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013.

From 2015 to 2017, the LTS covers a subsample of enterprises with 20 or more workers that are located in the National Capital Region (NCR) only using the updated List of Establishments available at the PSA as sampling frame. As a matter of procedure, the survey gathers consolidated information about the establishment and its branches, if any.

Starting 1st Quarter 2018, the LTS was expanded from its NCR to nationwide coverage with subsamples of establishments employing 20 or more workers to get a more complete picture of the labor market situation in the whole country. Also started from this period, data encoding and machine processing are decentralized at the RSSOs. But, in case of NCR, the previous set-up remained where the distribution and collection of questionnaires, field editing, data encoding and machine processing were all done at the Central Office until 4th quarter 2018 survey round.

However, due to limited budget, the conduct of nationwide LTS for 2019 is deferred. At the very least, the survey will be conducted in a semi-annual frequency covering NCR only to be handled by the Regional Statistical Services Office (RSSO) and Provincial Statistical Offices (PSOs).


The data series starts from the 3rd quarter of 2002 up to the 4 th quarter of 2018.



An advance release calendar that gives notice of the approximate release date is posted in the PSA website.


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The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the terms and conditions of Republic Act 10625 approved on September 12, 2013, creating and mandating the Philippine Statistics Authority to prepare and conduct statistical sample surveys.

Individual data furnished by a respondent to statistical inquiries, surveys and censuses of the PSA shall be considered privileged communication and as such shall be inadmissible as evidence in any proceeding.

Statistical Tables