Highlights of the February 2021 Labor Force Survey
a. The unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in February 2021 is higher than that in January 2021 and October 2020, both with 8.7 percent. The estimate was the third highest since April 2020. The highest unemployment was registered at 17.6 percent in April 2020 (Table A).
b. The number of unemployed Filipinos 15 years old and over was posted at 4.2 million in February 2021, or about 234 thousand higher than the reported 4.0 million in January 2021 (Table A).
c. Labor force participation rate (LFPR) bounced back to 63.5 percent in February 2021, accounting for 47.3 million Filipinos 15 years old and over who are either employed or unemployed. This is the highest LFPR reported since April 2020 (Table A).
d. Employment rate was placed at 91.2 percent in February 2021. Equivalently, there were 43.2 million Filipinos who had job or business out of the 47.3 million Filipinos who were in the labor force. In January 2021 and October 2020, this was estimated at 91.3 percent (Table A).
e. Among the employed persons in February 2021, there were 7.9 million categorized as underemployed or those who expressed their desires to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer hours of work. This was higher than the reported 6.6 million underemployed Filipinos in January 2021. In terms of proportion, underemployment rate in February 2021 was estimated at 18.2 percent, which is higher than those reported in January 2021 (16.0 %), October 2020 (14.4 %), and July 2020 (17.3%) (Table A).
Among the underemployed persons, 12.5 percentage points were visibly underemployed or employed persons who worked less than 40 hours in a week and wanted additional hours of work. On the other hand, 5.7 percentage points were invisibly underemployed or employed persons who worked more than 40 hours in a week and who wanted additional hours of work (Table A).
f. The average weekly hours of work of an employed person in February 2021 was recorded at 38.9 hours, which is lower than the January 2021 average at 39.3 hours. This is also lower than the average weekly hours worked in October 2020 at 40.8 hours (Table 2).
g. Among men and women, LFPR was higher for men (76.0%) than for women (50.9%) in February 2021. A higher employment rate was also registered for men (91.6%) compared to women (90.5%). Similarly, men reported higher underemployment rate (20.3%) than women (15.1%) (Table D).
h. By broad industry group, the services sector remained dominant with 58.4 percent share to the total employed persons in February 2021. This was followed by the agriculture sector with 23.9 percent share, and the industry sector, which accounted for the smallest share of 17.7 percent (Table 1).
The top five (5) sub-sectors with the highest gain in employment from January 2021 to February 2021 were as follows:
1. activities for extraterritorial organizations and bodies (51.8%),
2. water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (24.1%),
3. human health and social work activities (12.7%),
4. other service activities (11.9%), and
5. wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (11.5%).
On the other hand, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, and mining and quarrying registered decline in employment by -25.5 percent, and -18.9 percent, respectively from January 2021 to February 2021 (Table B).
By broad industry group, underemployed persons were highest in the services sector contributing to 49.6 percent of the 7.9 million total underemployed persons in February 2021. This posted an increase of 1.6 percentage points from the January 2021 estimate of 48.1 percent (Tables 3).
i. By occupation group, elementary occupation had the largest proportion of employed persons (27.6%), followed by the service and sales workers (20.5%), and skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers (12.7%) (Table 1).
DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General