Employment Rate Reported at 92.5 Percent in April 2009 Results from the April 2009 Labor Force Survey (LFS)

Reference Number: 2009-044
Release Date: June 16, 2009


The employment rate registered for April 2009 was 92.5 percent. This estimate is not significantly different from last year's figure of 92.0 percent. The latest survey also revealed that the size of the labor force in April 2009 was approximately 37.8 million out of the estimated 59.1 million population 15 years and older. This translates to a labor force participation rate of 64.0 percent. Compared to the labor force participation rate in April 2008 (63.2%), the April 2009 LFPR is higher.

The National Capital Region (NCR) recorded the lowest employment rate at 86.5 percent and the highest unemployment rate at 13.5 percent. On the other hand, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao posted the highest employment rate (98.5%) and the lowest unemployment rate (1.5%) in April 2009. Aside from NCR, the other regions that registered an employment rate below the national estimate (92.5%) are Ilocos Region (91.7%), Central Luzon (91.5%), CALABARZON (90.1%), and Western Visayas (92.1%).

Of the total 35.0 million employed persons in April 2009, more than one-half (50.3%) worked in the services sector, with those employed in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods sub-sector comprising the largest sub-sector (19.1% of the total employed). Workers in the agriculture sector accounted for 35.2 percent of the total employed, with those engaged in the agriculture, hunting and forestry sub-sector making up the largest sub-sector (31.0% of the total employed). Only 14.5 percent of the total employed were in the industry sector, with the manufacturing sub-sector making up the largest percentage (8.1% of the total employed).

Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest proportion (32.5%) of the total employed population in April 2009 and 32.7 percent in April 2008. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group, accounting for 17.0 percent of the total employed.

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. More than half (51.9%) of the employed persons were wage and salary workers, more than one-third (34.9%) were own-account workers, and 13.1 percent were unpaid family workers. Among the wage and salary workers, those working for private establishments comprised the largest proportion (38.5% of the total employed). Government workers or those working for government corporations comprised only 8.2 percent of the total employed, while 4.9 percent were workers in private households. Meanwhile, among the own-account workers, the self-employed comprised the majority (31.1% of total employed).

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. In April 2009, more than half (56.6%) of the total employed persons were full-time workers with those working for 40 to 48 hours having the highest proportion (36.1% of the total employed). Around 20.5 percent of the total employed worked for more than 48 hours. Part-time workers comprised 41.0 percent of the total employed.

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 April 2009 was estimated at 6.6 million or an underemployment rate of 18.9 percent. Around 4.1 million or 62.6 percent of the total underemployed persons were reported as visibly underemployed or working less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 34.5 percent. Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (46.6%) and services sector (38.9%). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 14.5 percent.

The unemployment rate in April 2009 was estimated at 7.5 percent compared to 8.0 percent recorded in April last year. Among the regions, only the NCR registered a double-digit unemployment rate of 13.5 percent.

More males (61.5% of total unemployed) were unemployed than among females (38.5%). By age group, around 50.6 percent were in the age group 15 - 24 years while thirty percent of the total unemployed were in the age group 25 - 34.

Across educational groups, most of the unemployed were high school graduates (32.0%). College undergraduates comprised about one-fifth (22.0%) of the total unemployed while the college graduates at 20.9 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: June 16, 2009

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