Employment Rate in October 2019 is Estimated at 95.5 Percent

Reference Number: 2019-207
Release Date: December 5, 2019

Results from the October 2019 Labor Force Survey (LFS)


October 2019, LFS


The employment rate in October 2019 was estimated at 95.5 percent. In October 2018, the employment rate was 94.9 percent.

Seven regions had employment rates lower than the national estimate:  Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) (93.4%), Region IVA (CALABARZON) (94.2%), Region I (Ilocos Region) (94.8%), Region V (Bicol Region) (95.2%), Region III (Central Luzon) (95.3%), National Capital Region (NCR) and Region XIII (Caraga) (95.4%).  The labor force participation rate (LFPR) in October 2019 was estimated at 61.5 percent given the population 15 years old and over of 73.5 million (Table 4).

The LFPR in October 2018 was 60.6 percent.  The labor force population consists of the employed and the unemployed 15 years old and over.

Workers were grouped into three broad sectors, namely, agriculture, industry and services sector.  Workers in the services sector comprised the largest proportion of the employed population with 57.7 percent of the total employed in October 2019 (Table 1).  Those engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for the largest percentage (34.4%) of workers in the services sector (Table 2).  In October 2018, workers in the services sector accounted for 56.8 percent of the total employed, of which 34.1 percent were engaged in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (Table 1 and Table 2).

Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group making up 23.5 percent of the total employed in October 2019, while workers in the industry sector made up the smallest group registering 18.9 percent of the total employed.   In October 2018, workers in the agriculture sector accounted for 24.1 percent and  19.1 percent were in the  industry sector.  The October 2019 LFS results also showed that in the industry sector, workers in the construction and manufacturing subsectors made up the largest groups, accounting for 51.9 percent  and 44.4 percent  of  the workers in these subsectors,  respectively  (Tables 1 and 2).

Across occupation groups, workers in elementary occupations remained the largest group at 26.0 percent of the total employed in October 2019 while it was 26.6 percent in October 2018 (Table 1).  Service and sales workers comprised the second largest  occupation group (18.6%), followed by skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers (12.1%), and managers (11.3%) in October 2019.

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 October 2019,  the wage and salary workers made up 64.2 percent of the total employed, with those working in private establishments continuing to account for the largest share (Table 1).  They made up 50.8 percent of the total employed in October 2019 and 50.4 percent in October 2018.  Self-employed workers made up 27.0 percent of the total employed in October 2019 and 26.6 percent in October 2018. Unpaid family workers accounted for 5.9 percent of the total employed in October 2019 and 5.7 percent of the total employed in October 2018.

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 October 2019,  68.7 percent were full-time workers, while 30.5 percent were part-time workers (Table 2).

By comparison, in October 2018, full-time workers comprised 70.8 percent while part-time workers, 28.6 percent.  On the average, workers worked 41.8 hours per week in October 2019, while mean hours worked per week in October 2018  was 42.8.

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 October 2019, the underemployment rate, which is the percentage of the underemployed to the total employed, was estimated at 13.0 percent (Table 4).  In October 2018, the underemployment rate was 13.3 percent.

Underemployed persons who work for less than 40 hours in a week are called visibly underemployed persons. They accounted for 60.5 percent of the total underemployed in October 2019 and 57.0 percent in October 2018 (Table 3). By comparison, the underemployed persons who worked for 40 hours or more in a week in October 2019 made up 38.0 percent.  By sector, 44.9 percent of the underemployed worked in the services sector, while 37.8 percent were in the agriculture sector.  Those in the industry sector accounted for 17.3 percent (Table 3).

The unemployment rate in October 2019 was estimated at 4.5 percent.  In October 2018, it was 5.1 percent.  Among the unemployed persons in October 2019, 61.4 percent were males. Of the total unemployed, the age group 15 to 24 years comprised 46.1 percent, while the age group 25 to 34, 29.5 percent. By educational attainment, 27.9 percent of the unemployed were college graduates, 9.9 percent were college undergraduates, and 26.4 percent have completed junior high school (Table 3).  Graduates of junior high school include those high school graduates in the old curriculum.

Among the regions, Zamboanga Peninsula (1.9%), Cordillera Administrative Region (2.8%), Ilocos Region (3.5%), Northern Mindanao (3.5%) and MIMAROPA Region (3.7%) had the lowest unemployment rates (Table 4).


Youth Population and Labor Participation

The October 2019 Labor Force Participation Rate of youth (15-24 years old) in the country was estimated at 37.0 percent given the total youth population of 19.9 million. In October 2018, labor force participation of youth was 37.2 percent (Table A).

Youth employment rate was estimated at 87.2 percent in October 2019 while it was 86.7 percent in the same month a year ago.  Of the employed youth (15-24 years old) in October 2019, 1.7 percent were underemployed.

In October 2019, an estimated 0.9 million of youth were unemployed out of the 7.3 million youth labor force population. These numbers translate into an unemployment rate of 12.8 percent.  The youth unemployment rate in October 2018 was 13.3 percent (Table A).

There were 17.1 percent of the youth who were Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET) in October 2019.  In October 2018, the estimate was 18.7 percent (Table A).

The proportion of youth (15-24 years old) who were new entrants to the labor force was estimated at 10.6 percent, while in October 2018, youth new entrants was 11.7 percent (Table A).

The employed youth (15-24 years old) in October 2019 worked on an average of 39.7 hours per week while in October 2018, they worked 40.5 hours, on the average per week (Table A).



National Statistician and Civil Registrar General


Technical Notes

• Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition was adopted per NSCB Resolution Number 15 dated 20 October 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 looking for work; or (2) without work and currently available for work but not looking for work due to 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) has been adopted to generate the labor force statistics.

• In October 2016, the 2008 Philippine Standard Classification of Education (PSCED) that was used in the 2015 Population Census (2015 POPCEN) has been adopted.  The categories for highest grade completed were also revised considering the K to 12 program in the education system.

• In 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.


See more at the Labor Force Survey main page.



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