Employment Rate in April 2017 is Estimated at 94.3 Percent

Reference Number: 2017-063
Release Date: June 9, 2017

Results from the April 2017 Labor Force Survey (LFS)


April 2017a/

April 2016

Population 15 years and over (in 000) 69,605 68,167
Labor Force Participation Rate (%) 61.4 63.5
Employment Rate (%) 94.3 93.9
Unemployment Rate (%) 5.7 6.1
Underemployment Rate (%) 16.1 18.3
a/ Estimates for April 2017 are preliminary and may change.


The employment rate in April 2017 was estimated at 94.3 percent.  In April 2016, the employment rate was 93.9 percent.

Regions with lowest employment rates were Ilocos Region (89.6%), National Capital Region (NCR) (92.8%), and CALABARZON (92.9%)(Table 4).  The labor force participation rate (LFPR) in April 2017 was estimated at 61.4 percent given the labor force population of 69.6 million.  The LFPR in April 2016 was 63.5 percent.   The labor force population consists of the employed and the unemployed 15 years old and over.

Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group making up 26.1 percent of the total employed in April 2017, while workers in the industry sector made up the smallest group registering 18.5 percent of the total employed.  In April 2016, workers in agriculture accounted for 25.5 percent of  the  total employed; while  workers in the  industry sector, 18.2 percent.  The April 2017 LFS results also showed that in the industry sector, workers in the construction and manufacturing subsectors made up the largest groups, accounting for 47.7 percent  and   47.5 percent  of  the workers in these  subsectors,  respectively  (Tables 1 and 2).

Among the occupation groups, workers in the elementary occupations remained the largest group making up 26.8 percent of the total employed in April 2017 (Table 1).  In April 2016, such workers made up 26.5 percent of the total employed in that period.  Managers comprised the second largest occupation group (16.3%), followed by service and sales workers (15.0%), and skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers (13.5%) in April 2017.

Employed persons fall into any of these categories: (1) wage and salary workers, (2) self-employed workers without any paid employee, (3) employers in own family-operated farm or business, and (4) unpaid family workers.  Wage and salary workers are those who work for private households, private establishments, government or government-controlled corporations, and those who work with pay in own family-operated farm or business.  In April 2017, the wage and salary workers made up 61.3 percent of the total employed, with those working in private establishments continuing to account for the largest share (Table 1).  They made up 48.8 percent of the total employed in April 2017 and 48.4 percent in April 2016.  The second largest class of workers were the self-employed making up 28.2 percent of the total employed in April 2017 while it was 26.8 percent in April 2016.  Unpaid family workers accounted for 6.7 percent of the total employed in April 2017 and 8.3 percent of the total employed in April 2016.

Employed persons are classified as either full-time workers or part-time workers.  Full-time workers refer to those who worked for 40 hours or more during the reference week, while those who worked for less than 40 hours were considered part-time workers.  Of the total employed persons in April 2017, 60.8 percent were full-time workers, while 37.8 percent were part-time workers (Table 2).  By comparison, in April 2016, full-time workers comprised 65.3 percent while part-time workers, 32.8 percent.  In April 2017, workers worked 40.3 hours per week, on average, compared to 42.2 in April 2016.

By definition, 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.  In April 2017, the underemployment rate, which is the percentage of the underemployed to the total employed, was estimated at 16.1 percent.  In April 2016, the unemployment rate was 18.3 percent (Table 4).

Underemployed persons who work for less than 40 hours in a week are called visibly underemployed persons.  They accounted for 60.4 percent of the  total underemployed in April 2017 and 55.2 percent in April 2016 (Table 3).  By comparison, the underemployed persons who  worked  for 40 hours  or more in a week made up 37.7 percent.  By  sector, 44.4 percent of the underemployed worked in the services sector, while 35.9 percent were in the agriculture sector.  Those in the industry sector accounted for 19.7 percent (Table 3).

The unemployment rate in April 2017 was estimated at 5.7 percent, lower than the unemployment rate in April 2016 which was 6.1 percent.  Among the regions, Ilocos Region (10.4%), National Capital Region (NCR) (7.2%) and CALABARZON (7.1%) were the regions with the highest unemployment rates (Table 4).

Among the unemployed persons in April 2017, 63.7 percent were males.  Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 49.5 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 29.3 percent. By educational attainment, 20.6 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 13.7 percent were college undergraduates, and 33.5 percent have completed junior high school (Table 3).





Assistant Secretary
Deputy National Statistician



Technical Notes


  • 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 January 2012 LFS, the codes for industry adopted the 2009 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC).  Prior to this, codes for industry used the 1994 PSIC.
  • Question on vocational course was introduced in the January 2012 LFS questionnaire.
  • Starting April 2016 round, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) adopted the 2013 Master Sample Design, with a sample size of approximately 44,000 households.
  • The 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) was adopted starting April 2016.  The 1992 PSOC had been used prior to April 2016.
  • Starting  with  the April 2016 LFS round, the  population  projections  based  on  the  2010 Census of Population and Housing (2010 CPH) was adopted to generate the labor force statistics.
  • Starting January 2017 round, Computer Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI) using Tablet was utilized in the LFS enumeration.
  • Overseas Filipino Workers are not considered part of the labor force in the Philippines.  Hence, in the LFS, data on economic characteristics of household members who are overseas workers are not collected.  For the LFS reports, they are excluded in the estimation of the size of working population, that is, population aged 15 years and older, and in the estimation of the labor force.



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