Employment Rate Reported at 92.7 Percent in January 2010 Results from the January 2010 Labor Force Survey (LFS)

Reference Number: 2010-69
Release Date: March 16, 2010


Philippines    January 2010 1/       January 2009   
   Population 15 years and over (in '000) 60,208 58,657
   Labor Force Participation Rate (%) 64.5 63.3
   Employment Rate (%) 92.7 92.3
   Unemployment Rate (%) 7.3 7.7
   Underemployment Rate (%) 19.7 18.2

                     Notes: 1/ Estimates for January 2010 are preliminary and may change.
                               2/ Population 15 years and over is from the 2000 Census-based population projections. 

The number of employed persons in January 2010 was estimated at 36.0 million, increasing by 5.0 percent over last year's estimate of 34.3 million persons. This placed the current employment rate at 92.7 percent, which is not significantly different from the estimate reported last year at 92.3 percent.

Across regions, Cagayan Valley and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) posted the highest employment rate at 97.0 and 96.0 percent, respectively and lowest in the National Capital Region (NCR) at 89.2 percent.

Out of the estimated 60.2 million population 15 years old and over in January 2010, around 38.8 million persons were reported to be in the labor force. This figure placed the January 2010 labor force participation rate (LFPR) at 64.5 percent, increasing by 1.2 percentage points from last year's estimate of 63.3 percent. Among the regions, Northern Mindanao registered the highest labor force participation rate at 70.2 percent while the lowest LFPR was posted in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at 59.2 percent.

Of the estimated 36.0 million employed persons in January 2010, more than one-half (52.4%) worked in the services sector. The bulk of increase in employment (1.3 million) can be found 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 (19.6% of the total employed). Workers in the agriculture sector accounted for 32.8 percent of the total employed, with those engaged in the agriculture, hunting and forestry sub-sector making up the largest sub-sector (28.7% of the total employed). Only 14.8 percent of the total employed were in the industry sector, with the manufacturing sub-sector making up the largest percentage (8.4% of the total employed).

Among the various occupation groups, employed persons were dominated by laborers and unskilled workers at 32.7 percent of the total employed persons in January 2010. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group, accounting for 15.4 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 (55.8%) of the employed persons were wage and salary workers, more than one-third (33.6%) were own-account workers, and 10.6 percent were unpaid family workers. Among the wage and salary workers, those working for private establishments comprised the largest proportion (41.3% of the total employed). Government workers or those working for government corporations comprised only 8.2 percent of the total employed, while 5.9 percent were workers in private households. Meanwhile, among the own-account workers, the self-employed comprised the majority (29.4% 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 January 2010, six in every 10 employed persons were full-time workers, with those working for 40 to 48 hours having the highest proportion (40.6% of the total employed). Part-time workers comprised 34.2 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 January 2010 was estimated at 7.1 million or an underemployment rate of 19.7 percent. Around 4.0 million or 57.0 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 41.3 percent. Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (46.7%) and services sector (39.0%). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 14.3 percent.

The number of unemployed persons in January 2010 was recorded at 2.8 million compared to last year?s estimate of 2.9 million. The unemployment rate in January 2010 declined to 7.3 percent from 7.7 percent posted in January last year. Among the regions, only the NCR posted a double digit unemployment rate of 10.8 percent.

More males (64.6% of total unemployed) were unemployed than females (35.4%). By age group, for every 10 unemployed persons, five (51.5%) were in the age group 15 - 24 years while three (29.1%) were in the age group 25 - 34 years. Across educational groups, most of the unemployed were high school graduates (33.1%). College undergraduates comprised about 19.3 percent of the unemployed, while the college graduates, 18.5 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".. 

Labor Force by Year


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Wilma A. Guillen
Income and Employment Statistics Division 
Social Sector Statistics Service
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