Employment Rate is Estimated at 93.2 Percent in October 2012 Results from the October 2012 Labor Force Survey (LFS)

Reference Number: 2012-103
Release Date: December 18, 2012



The October 2012 Labor Force Survey (LFS) results recorded an estimate of 37.7 million employed persons, which gives an employment rate of 93.2 percent. Last year’s employment rate was estimated at 93.6 percent. Across regions, Cagayan Valley reported the highest employment rate of 97.6 percent, next is Zamboanga Peninsula with 96.6 percent. National Capital Region (NCR) posted the lowest employment rate of 89.0 percent.

The total population 15 years old and over in October 2012 was estimated at 63.3 million. Out of this estimate, 40.4 million persons were in the labor force. This figure translates to a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 63.9 percent.  The LFPR in October 2011 was 66.3 percent.  Among regions, the highest LFPR was posted in Northern Mindanao at 68.5 percent, while the lowest was reported in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at 57.9 percent.

Out of the estimated 37.7 million employed persons in October 2012, workers belonging to the services sector comprised the largest proportion with 52.6 percent of the total employed persons. Of the employed persons in the services sector, those engaged in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for the highest percentage (18.7% of the total employed).

Workers in the agriculture sector appeared to be the second largest group with an estimate of 32.3 percent of the total employed.  Only 15.2 percent of the total employed were working in the industry sector.

Among the major occupation groups, the laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest group making up 33.5 percent of the total employed persons in October 2012.  Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group with 14.4 percentage share.

Employed persons fall into any of these categories: wage and salary workers, self-employed workers without any paid employee, employer in own family-operated farm or business, and 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.  More than half (57.0%) of the total employed population in October 2012 were wage and salary workers, with the largest percentage (43.2% of the total employed) working for private establishments. Those working for the government or government-controlled corporations accounted for 8.1 percent while those working for private households comprised only 5.4 percent.  In October 2011, wage and salary workers accounted for 54.9 percent of the total employed.

In October 2012, self-employed workers without any paid employee made up 28.5 percent of the total employed, while employers in own family-operated farm or business comprised 3.6 percent share.  The unpaid family workers represented a 10.8 percent share of the 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. Of the total employed persons in October 2012, 64.2 percent were full time workers while 34.8 percent were part-time workers.

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 October 2012 was estimated at 7.2 million recording the underemployment rate at 19.0 percent. Last year’s underemployment rate was estimated at 19.1 percent.  Majority (56.2%) of the total underemployed persons were visibly underemployed or working for less than 40 hours during the reference week.  Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 42.2 percent. Less than one-half (44.3%) of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector and around two-fifth (40.5%) were working in the services sector.  The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 15.2 percent.

The proportion of the unemployed persons to the labor force was estimated at 2.8 million, which translated an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent. The rate was slightly higher than last year’s unemployment rate of 6.4 percent. NCR registered the highest unemployment rate at 11.0 percent whereas Cagayan Valley recorded the lowest at 2.4 percent. Among the unemployed persons, there were more males (62.1%) than females (37.9%).  Most (48.5%) of the unemployed persons belong to age group 15 to 24 years.

Across educational groups, one-third (33.4%) of the unemployed persons were high school graduates, one-eighth (12.4%) were college undergraduates, while one-fifth (20.3%) were college graduates.






Technical Notes


  • Starting July 2003, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) adopted the 2003 Master Sample Design, with a sample size of approximately 50,000 households.
  • 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.
  • Additional codes for highest grade completed were incorporated in the January 2012 LFS questionnaire.
  • Question on vocational course was also introduced in the January 2012 LFS questionnaire.
  • 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 July 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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Income and Employment Statistics Division 
Social Sector Statistics Service
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