Employment Rate in March 2022 is Estimated at 94.2 Percent

Reference Number: 2022-195
Release Date: May 6, 2022

Table A-1. Results from the March 2022 Labor Force Survey (LFS)

Philippines March 2021F January 2022P February 2022P March 2022P
Labor Force Participation Rate (%) 65 60.5 63.8 65.4
Employment Rate (%) 92.9 93.6 93.6 94.2
Underemployment Rate (%) 16.2 14.9 14 15.8
Unemployment Rate (%) 7.1 6.4 6.4 5.8

Notes:
  F Final
  p Estimates are preliminary and may change
    Source: Philippine Statistics Authority, Labor Force Survey

Highlights of the March 2022 Labor Force Survey

a. Employment rate was placed at 94.2 percent in March 2022, it was the highest since April 2020 but lower than the registered employment rate in January 2020 at 94.7 percent. In March 2021, employment rate was reported at 92.9 percent.

In terms of magnitude, an increase of 1.50 million employed persons was accounted from February 2022 (45.48 million) to March 2022 (46.98 million). Likewise, a total 1.64 million employed individuals were added to the employed population of 45.33 million in March 2021.(Table A)

b. The unemployment rate in the country improved in March 2022 (posted at 5.8 percent) vis-à-vis the estimates a month ago (6.4 percent) and in the same period a year ago (7.1 percent).  About 2.87 million were unemployed in March 2022, down from the 3.13 million in February 2022 and 3.44 million in March 2021. (Table A)

c. The country’s Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) in March 2022 continued to pick up at 65.4 percent, highest since the start of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The LFPR in March 2022 was higher by 0.4 percentage point from the 65.0 percent LFPR reported for the same month in 2021, and higher by 1.6 percentage points from the estimate a month ago. (Table A)

d. Underemployment rate in March 2022 was registered at 15.8 percent, lower than the estimated underemployment rate in the same month of 2021 at 16.2 percent but it is higher compared to the 14.0 percent estimate a month ago. Around 7.42 million out of the total 46.98 million employed persons were underemployed in March 2022. Underemployed persons are those who expressed the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have an additional job or to have a new job with longer hours of work. (Table A)

Visible underemployment rate or the proportion of underemployed persons working less than 40 hours in a week was reported at 10.2 percent in March 2022, lower than the 10.9 percent reported in March 2021 but it is higher than the reported 9.2 percent in February 2022.

On the other hand, invisible underemployment rate or the proportion of underemployed persons working at least 40 hours in a week was placed at 5.6 percent in March 2022. This estimate is higher compared to the 5.3 percent reported in March last year. (Table A)

e. By sex, male LFPR was estimated at 76.9 percent while female LFPR was 53.7 percent.  Employment rate was likewise higher among males at 94.7 percent than their female counterpart at 93.6 percent.  Further, underemployment rate among males (17.5%) was higher than females (13.3%).  The unemployment rate among females was reportedly higher at 6.4 percent of the 20.38 million total female labor force than their male counterpart at 5.3 percent of the 29.47 million male labor force. (Table D)

f. The average hours worked of an employed person in March 2022 was 40.6 hours. This is lower than the reported average hours worked of an employed person in February 2022 (40.8 hours) but higher than that reported in March 2021 (39.7 hours). (Tables 2 and A)

g. By sector, the services sectors dominated the labor market contributing 57.4 percent share of the country’s 46.98 million employed workforce. The agriculture and the industry sectors accounted for 25.2 percent and 17.4 percent of the employed persons, respectively. (Tables 2 and B)

h. The month-on-month changes on employment from February 2022 to March 2022 showed the following top five sub-sectors with reported increase in the number of employed persons:

a. Agriculture and forestry (904 thousand);
b. Administrative and support service activities (322 thousand);
c. Public administration and defense; compulsory social security (213 thousand);
d. Manufacturing (211 thousand); and
e. Financial and insurance activities (180 thousand).

On the other hand, the following top five sub-sectors showed a drop in the number of employed persons from February 2022 to March 2022:

a. Construction (-200 thousand);
b. Accommodation and food service activities (-107 thousand);
c. Transportation and storage (-75 thousand);
d. Education (-69 thousand); and
e. Professional, scientific, and technical activities (-67 thousand).
(Table 2 and Table B)

In terms of year-on-year changes in the number of employed persons from March 2021 to March 2022, the top five sub-sectors with the highest increase were the following:

a. Agriculture and forestry (823 thousand);
b. Administrative and support service activities (447 thousand);
c. Public administration and defense; compulsory social security (389 thousand);
d. Accommodation and food service activities (232 thousand); and
e. Transportation and storage (167 thousand).

In contrast, year on year changes from March 2021 to March 2022 showed only three of the sub-sectors reported a decline in employment. These were the following:

a. Construction (-754 thousand);
b. Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor and motorcycles (-239 thousand); and
c. Fishing and aquaculture (-114 thousand).
(Table 2 and Table B)

i. Youth labor force in March 2022 was estimated at 7.44 million of the 20.14 million youth population 15-24 years old. This translates to a Youth LFPR of 36.9 percent. Youth employment rate improved at 88.7 percent in March 2022, higher than the employment rate in February 2022 (85.7%) and in January 2022 (86.2%).  The number of unemployed youth dropped to 843 thousand in March 2022 from 1.24 million in 2021 of the same month.   (Table A)

j. Employed youth worked on an average of 36.7 hours per week. This estimate is lower than the average working hours reported in February 2022 (38.0 hours) and January 2022 (39.1 hours). The average working hours of an employed youth in March last year was reported at 37.1 hours. (Table A)

 

DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
Undersecretary
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General

 

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