Employment Rate Declined to 92.9 Percent in October 2009 Results from the October 2009 Labor Force Survey (LFS)

Reference Number: 2009-128
Release Date: December 15, 2009





The employment rate or the proportion of employed persons to total labor force was estimated at 92.9 percent in October 2009. The employment rate in October last year was recorded at 93.2 percent.

Across regions, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) posted the highest employment rate at 98.2 percent, followed closely by Cagayan Valley and Zamboanga Peninsula, both registering at 97.2 percent. The National Capital Region (NCR) had the lowest at 88.2 percent.

Out of the estimated 59.7 million population 15 years old and over in October 2009, approximately 38.2 million persons were reported to be in the labor force. These figures placed the labor force participation rate (LFPR) to 64.0 percent as compared to last year's LFPR of 63.7 percent. Among the regions, Northern Mindanao registered the highest LFPR at 71.2 percent and lowest in ARMM at 57.4 percent.

Of the estimated 35.5 million employed persons in October 2009, the services sector was the largest employer, getting more than half (51.5%) of the total employed population. The highest employed workforce in the services sector were in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods (6.9 million or 19.4 % of total employed).

The agriculture sector was the second largest employer, accounting for 34.0 percent of the total employed. Only 14.5 percent of the total employed were in the industry sector.

Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest proportion (32.5%) of the total employed population. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group, accounting for 16.4 percent of the total employed population.

Employed persons fall into any of these categories: wage and salary workers, own account workers and unpaid family workers. Wage and salary workers are those who work for private households, private establishments, government or government corporations and those who work with pay in own-family operated farm or business. Majority (53.6%) of the total employed population in October 2009 are wage and salary workers, most of them (39.7%) worked for private establishments. Those working for the government/government controlled corporation accounted for only 8.1 percent. In October 2008, the wage and salary workers accounted for 51.9 percent. Own-account workers, which include the proprietors and self-employed workers constituted 34.5 percent of the total employed with self-employed workers having the larger share (30.5%). The share of unpaid family workers to total employed was 11.9 percent in October 2009.

Employed persons are classified as either full-time workers or part-time workers. Full-time workers are those who work for 40 hours or more while part-time workers work for less than 40 hours. Around 22.0 million employed persons (62.2%) were working full time in October 2009, while, 36.3 percent of total employed were part-time workers or worked for less than 40 hours.

Employed persons who express 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 are considered underemployed. The number of underemployed persons in October 2009 was estimated at 6.9 million, placing the current underemployment rate at 19.4 percent. More than half (59.4%) of the total underemployed were reported as visibly underemployed or working for less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 37.9 percent of the total underemployed. Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (46.4%) and services sector (38.5%). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 15.0 percent.

The unemployment rate in October 2009 was estimated at 7.1 percent. Last year's estimate was 6.8 percent. NCR posted the highest unemployment rate at 11.8 percent and lowest in ARMM at 1.8 percent. The number of unemployed persons was higher among males (63.8%) than among females (36.2%). About one-half (50.3%) of the unemployed were in age group 15-24 years.

Across educational groups, among the unemployed, the high school graduates comprised more than one-third (34.7%), the college undergraduates comprised about one-fifth (21.7%), while the college graduates, 18.0 percent.





Technical Notes

  • Starting with the July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the generation of the labor force and employment statistics adopted the 2003 Master Sample Design.
  • Using this master sample design, the number of samples increased from 41,000 for LFS conducted from January 1997 to April 2003 to around 51,000 sample households for July 2003 and subsequent rounds of the LFS.
  • The 1992 four-digit code for Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) and 1994 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC) were used in classifying the occupation and industry.
  • Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition was adopted per NSCB Resolution Number 15 dated October 20, 2004. As indicated in the said resolution, the unemployed include all persons who are 15 years and over as of their last birthday and are reported as: (1) without work and currently available for work and seeking work; or (2) without work and currently available for work but not seeking work for the following reasons:

1.) Tired/believed no work available

2.) Awaiting results of previous job application

3.) Temporary illness/disability

4.) Bad weather

5.) Waiting for rehire/job recall

  • Starting with the January 2007 LFS round, the population projections based on the 2000 Census of Population was adopted to generate the labor force statistics. This is in compliance with NSCB Resolution No. 1 series of 2005 entitled "Adoption of the Methodology Used in Generating the 2000 Census of Population and Housing-Based National Population Projections"..


Source:       Income and Employment Statistics Division

Household Statistics Department

National Statistics Office

Manila, Philippines


Page last revised: December 15, 2009

Labor Force by Year

Featured Video

Press Conference on the July 2022 Labor Force Survey Preliminary Results
Press Conference on the July 2022 Labor Force Survey Preliminary Results


Contact Us

Mechelle M. Viernes
Income and Employment Statistics Division 
Social Sector Statistics Service
    +632 8376 2092