April 1997 Philippine Labor Force Survey Highlights: April 1997 Over April 1996

Reference Number: 1997-032
Release Date: June 20, 1997



  • The estimated national labor force population in April 1997 reached 31.4 million persons. Last year's comparative estimate was 30.7 million persons.
  • The corresponding labor force participation rate (LFPR) or the proportion of those in the labor force to the working age population was estimated at 68.8 percent. Last year's estimate was 69.1 percent. The LFPR for the April survey round has always been observed as the highest compared with the estimates from the other three survey rounds due to the entrance of graduates in the job market.
  • Meanwhile, the number of persons who were not in the labor force like housewives, students, disabled persons, etc. totalled 14.3 million. Last year's figure was 13.7 million.


  • The April 1997 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) reflected a national employment rate of 89.6. The estimate in April last year was 89.1 percent.
  • Among regions, Metro Manila recorded the lowest employment rate at 85.5 percent. The second lowest employment rate was recorded in Region VI at 87.3 percent followed by Region III at 87.8 percent. The highest employment rate which also had the lowest labor force participation rate (LFPR) was registered in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao at 95.4 percent.
  • In terms of levels, the number of employed persons was estimated at 28.1 million. Last year's estimate reached 27.4 million. The regions which registered the highest employment levels were Region IV (3.7 million), Metro Manila (3.6 million) and Central Luzon (2.6 million). The regions with the least number of employed persons were Cordillera Administrative Region (585 thousand), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (664 thousand) and CARAGA (894 thousand).
  • Broken down by sector, the services sector outranked the agricultural sector in terms of levels and proportion to total employment. This was also the same pattern recorded last January 1997 survey round. The share to total employment of the services sector was 41.8 percent as compared with that of the agricultural sector of 41.3 percent. The industry sector had a share of 16.9 percent. The corresponding shares in April 1996 were recorded at 40.5 percent, 43.8 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively.
  • Occupation-wise, agricultural workers had the largest employment with 11.5 million workers or 40.8 percent of the total workforce. Production and related workers, transport equipment operators and laborers were second at 6.5 million (23.3 percent). Administrative workers numbered the least at 514 thousand or 1.8 percent. The corresponding April 1996 levels were 11.9 million, 6.0 million and 425 thousand, respectively.
  • Categorized by class of worker, wage and salaried workers comprised the highest number with 47.6 percent of the total employed. Own-account workers accounted for 37.1 percent of the total workforce while unpaid family workers shared the least at 15.3 percent. Corresponding percentages in April 1996 were recorded at 45.3 percent, 37.9 percent and 16.8 percent.
  • In terms of hours worked, employed persons working 40 hours and over totalled 18.0 million or a share of 64.0 percent. Persons working less than 40 hours reached 9.5 million or 33.8 percent of the total employed. The April 1996 shares were registered at 55.2 percent and 42.8 percent, respectively.
  • The April 1997 LFS revealed that a total of 6.6 million or 23.4 percent of the employed were underemployed or wanting more hours of work. Last year's figure was 6.1 million or 22.2 percent of the total employed. Meanwhile, visible underemployment rate or the proportion of underemployed persons who work for less than 40 hours during the reference week and wanted additional work to total employed was posted at 11.8 percent. Last year's estimate was 13.1 percent.


  • The April 1997 LFS yielded a national unemployment rate of 10.4 percent. The estimate last year was registered at 10.9 percent. The April estimate usually registers the highest unemployment rate from among the four rounds of the Labor Force Survey due principally to the bulk of new graduates looking for work at this time of the year.
  • Level-wise, the number of unemployed persons in April 1997 reached 3.3 million. Last year's level was recorded at 3.4 million.

Labor Force by Year

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Mechelle M. Viernes
Income and Employment Statistics Division 
Social Sector Statistics Service
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