Six in ten of the population 15 years old and over are in the labor force
The results of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted in April this year revealed that the number of persons who are in the labor force or those who are either employed or unemployed is estimated at 40.9 million out of the 64.1 million population 15 years old and over. This translates into a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 63.8 percent, which means that around six in ten of the population aged 15 years and over are in the labor force. The LFPR reported in April 2012 was 64.7 percent.
The leading three regions in terms of LFPR are Cagayan Valley (69.5%), Cordillera Administrative Region (69.2%), and Northern Mindanao (68.8%). The lowest LFPR was in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at 54.9 percent (Table 1).
Employment rate in April 2013 is estimated at 92.5 percent
Out of the estimated 40.9 million persons in the labor force in April 2013, 92.5 percent were employed. In the same month of the previous year (April 2012) employment rate was estimated at 93.1 percent. The number of employed persons was estimated at 37.819 million in April 2013 compared to 37.842 million in April 2012.
Four regions had an employment rate which is lower than the national figure. These are the NCR (89.6%), Ilocos Region (90.6%), Central Luzon (91.1%), and CALABARZON (89.3%). The employment rate of Davao Region (91.7%) is not different statistically from the national figure.
Six in ten of the employed persons are males
Of the 37.8 million employed persons in April 2013, 61.1 percent were males.
The largest number of employed persons belonged to the age group 25 to 34 years with 26.5 percent of the total employed. The 35 to 44 age group comprised the second largest group (22.9%), while the 15 to 24 age group made up the third largest group (19.7%) (Table 3).
Half of the total employed are in the services sector
Workers in the services sector remained the largest group of employed persons, making up 52.6 percent of the total employed. Although employment in the agriculture sector dropped in April 2013, it remained the second largest group accounting for 31.3 percent of the total employed.
The decrease in the number of agricultural workers, from 10.989 million or 32.9 percent of the total employed in April 2012 to 10.393 million or 31.3 percent of the total employed reported in April 2013, contributed to the decline of the employment rate of the country.
Among workers in the services sector, those engaged in wholesale and retail trade or in the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles made up the largest percentage which accounted for 18.2 percent of the total employed in April 2013 (Table 4).
Laborers and unskilled workers comprise one-third of the employed persons
Among the various major occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest group. One in every three (32.6%) employed persons belonged to this occupation group. This was also the largest occupation group reported in April 2012 (33.6% of the total employed). Officials of the government and special-interest organizations, corporate executives, managers, managing proprietors, and supervisors made up the second largest group of workers with 16.0 percent of the total employed. Farmers, forestry workers, and fishermen registered the third largest group of workers with 13.1 percent of the total employed in April 2013. Service workers and shop and market sales workers made up the fourth largest group with 12.0 percent (Table 5).
There were two occupation groups that recorded a significant drop in size in April 2013. These were the farmers, forestry workers and fishermen whose percentage decreased from 14.3 in April 2012 to 13.1 percent in April 2013 and the laborers and unskilled workers, from 33.6 to 32.6 percent.
Six in ten of the employed are wage and salary workers
Employed persons fall into any of these categories: wage and salary workers, self-employed 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 and government-controlled corporations and those who work with pay in own family-operated farm or business.
Close to six in ten or 57.5 percent of the total employed persons in April 2013 were wage and salary workers. In the same month last year, the corresponding figure was 55.8 percent. Wage and salary workers in the private establishments made up 44.3 percent of the total employed, and those working for the government and government-controlled corporations accounted for 8.1 percent.
About seven in ten (69.4%) unpaid family workers were in the agriculture sector. In contrast, six in ten (59.8%) wage and salary workers were in the services sector. Meanwhile, the self-employed without any paid employee in the services sector made up 50.1 percent of the total 10.8 million self-employed workers (Table 7 and Figure 6).
Six in ten of employed persons work full time
Employed workers are classified as either full-time 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. Full-time workers comprised 63.5 percent of the total employed persons in April 2013, with those working for 40 to 48 hours making up a larger proportion (41.2% of the total employed) than those working for more than 48 hours (22.4%). Part-time workers comprised 34.7 percent of the total employed (Table 8).
One in every five employed persons desires more hours of work
Underemployed persons were estimated at 7.3 million in April 2013. This number represented 19.2 percent of the total employed.
Underemployed persons are employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have an additional job, or a new job with longer working hours.
Of the total underemployed, those working in the services sector made up 42.2 percent, while those in the agriculture sector, 40.9 percent. The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 16.9 percent of the total underemployed (Figure 7).
Visibly underemployed, or those persons who had been working for less than 40 hours a week accounted for 53.8 percent, a large percentage (72.8%) of which were in the agriculture sector (Table 9).
Unemployment rate reported at 7.5 percent
In April 2013, the unemployment rate or the proportion of unemployed persons to the labor force was reported at 7.5 percent (Table 1). This placed the number of unemployed persons at 3.1 million (Table 2). In the same month last year, the estimate was lower at 6.9 percent. The unemployment rate in CALABARZON (10.7%) and NCR (10.4%) was higher than in the other regions (Table 1 and Figure 8).
Six in ten (61.4%) of the unemployed were males. Five in ten (48.2%) of the unemployed were in age group 15 to 24 years (Table 3).
Across educational groups, 31.7 percent of the total unemployed were high school graduates, 21.3 percent were college graduates, 7.2 percent were elementary graduates, and 6.6 percent finished post secondary courses (Table 10).
Seventy percent of persons not in the labor force are women
About one-third or 36.2 percent of the 64.1 million total population 15 years old and over in April 2013 were not in the labor force. These include housewives, students, persons with disability, and those who have retired from their employment. Seven in ten (70.2%) of those who were not in the labor force are women.
Forty-four percent (44.4%) of those who were not in the labor force belonged to the 15-24 age group (Table 3).
The labor force population in April 2013 was estimated at 40.9 million. This translates to a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 63.8 percent.
Total employed persons in April 2013 were approximately 37.8 million, resulting to a national employment rate of 92.5 percent.
- More than half (52.6%) of the total employed were in the services sector, 16.1 percent were in the industry sector, and 31.3 percent were in the agriculture sector.
- Laborers and unskilled workers made up the largest proportion of employed persons as they comprised 32.6 percent of the total employed population.
Total unemployed persons were accounted at 3.1 million in April 2013, which translates to an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent.
Underemployment rate was estimated at 19.2 percent in April 2013.
The Labor Force Survey (LFS) is a nationwide quarterly survey conducted by the National Statistics Office (
The reference period used in the survey is the past seven (7) days preceding the date of interview of the enumerator.
The concepts and definitions used in the survey can be found in NSO Integrated Survey of Households (ISH) Bulletins. Some are given below:
a. Labor Force – refers to the population 15 years old and over who contribute to the production of goods and services in the country. It comprises the employed and unemployed.
b. Employed – refers to persons in the labor force who are reported either as at work or with a job or business although not at work. Persons at work are those who did some work, even for an hour during the reference period.
c. Unemployed – refers to persons in the labor force who are reported as:
1. without work; and
2. currently available for work; and
3. seeking work or not seeking work due to the following reasons:
- belief that no work is available, or
- awaiting results of previous job application, or
- because of temporary illness or disability, or
- bad weather, or
- waiting for rehire or job recall.
The new definition of unemployed was adopted starting April 2005 per NSCB Resolution No. 15 dated October 20, 2004.
The old definition of unemployed considered only two criteria:
1. Without work and looking for work; or
2. Without work and not looking for work due to reasons cited in 3(i) to 3(v).
d. Underemployed – refers to employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or an additional job, or a new job with longer working hours.
e. Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) – refers to the proportion of total labor force to the total household population 15 years old and over.
f. Employment Rate – refers to the proportion of employed persons to the total labor force.
g. Unemployment Rate – refers to the proportion of unemployed persons to the total labor force.
h. Underemployment Rate – refers to the proportion of underemployed persons to total employed persons.
In July 2003, the LFS adopted the 2003 Master Sample Design, with a sample size of approximately 50,000 households.
The province of Basilan is now under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) while Isabela City (Basilan) is under Region IX, in accordance with Executive Order No. 36.
Starting with the July 2007 LFS round, the population projections based on the 2000 Census of Population and Housing was adopted to generate the labor force statistics. The 2000 CPH-based population projections has been endorsed as the official figures to be utilized for planning and programming purposes per NSCB Resolution No. 7 Series of 2006, entitled “Adoption of the Methodology Used in Generating the 2000 Census of Population and Housing-Based National, Regional, and Provincial Population Projections”.
A revised nomenclature on class of worker was adopted since January 2010 LFS round. In the reports on previous rounds of LFS, particularly in the statistical tables on employed persons by class of worker, the self-employed and employer in own family-operated farm or business were classified as own-account workers. For the same statistical table in this report, the term “own-account worker” no longer appears as heading for employer and self-employed to avoid confusion. In the International Classification of Status in Employment (ICSE), the term “own-account workers” is synonymous to the category ”self-employed” in the Philippines LFS.
In January 2012, the LFS adopted the 2009 four-digit Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC) codes in classifying the industry. Prior to this, the 1994 PSIC was used. The 1992 four-digit Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) code, updated in 2002, was utilized.
In the LFS, data on the economic characteristics of household members who are overseas workers are not collected because they are not considered as part of the labor force in the country. Hence, they are excluded in the estimation of the size of working population, that is, population aged 15 years and older.