More than 60 percent of the population 15 years old and over are in the labor force
The population 15 years old and over in January 2012 was estimated at 62.7 million wherein approximately 40.2 million persons were reported to be in the labor force, that is, either employed or unemployed (Table 1 and Table 3). These figures placed the labor force participation rate (LFPR) at 64.2 percent. Last year’s LFPR was 63.7 percent. Among the regions, MIMAROPA registered the highest LFPR at 69.9 percent while Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had the lowest at 57.6 percent.
Employment rate is recorded at 92.8 percent
In January 2012, the employment rate or the proportion of employed persons to total labor force was estimated at 92.8 percent (Table 1). This placed the number of employed persons at about 37.3 million (Table 2). In January 2011, the employment rate was 92.6 percent.
Across regions, Cagayan Valley had the highest employment rate of 97.5 percent, followed closely by ARMM at 97.1 percent. The National Capital Region (NCR) registered the lowest employment rate of 88.8 percent (Table 1).
Three in five of the employed persons are males
Three in five (60.8%) of the employed persons in January 2012 were males.
Around 27.0 percent of the total employed were in the age group 25 to 34.
The second largest group in terms of age was composed of age group 35 to 44, making up 22.9 percent of the total employed, followed by the 15 to 24 age group with 19.3 percent (Table 3).
Services sector comprised more than half of the employed population
Workers in the services sector comprised more than one-half (52.8%) of the total employed population in January 2012. Nearly one-third (32.4%) were in the agriculture sector and the remainder (14.8%) were in the industry sector.
Classified according to subsector of major industry groups, workers in agriculture, hunting and forestry sub-sector comprised the biggest percentage (28.5%) of the total employed. Those in the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles came next registering 18.3 percent of the total employed (Table 4).
Nearly one-third of the total employed are laborers and unskilled workers
Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers made up the largest occupation group, accounting for 32.7 percent of the employed population. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group, accounting for 15.2 percent of the total employed population (Table 5 and Figure 5).
More than half 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. The greater part (55.3%) of the total employed persons in January 2012 were wage and salary workers, most of them (41.6% of the total employed) worked for private establishments. Those working for the government and government-controlled corporations accounted for 8.2 percent of the total employed. The unpaid family workers made up 11.6 percent (Table 6).
Around 70.0 percent of the unpaid family workers were in the agriculture sector. In contrast, the majority of the wage and salary workers were in the services sector with three in every five (61.4%) of such workers belonging to that sector (Table 8).
Five in eight of the employed are full time workers
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. Majority (62.1%) of the total employed persons were working full time in January 2012. Two in five of the total employed worked for 40 to 48 hours, while 36.7 percent of the total employed were part-time workers (Table 7).
Two in every ten employed persons desire more hours of work
Employed persons who express 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 working hours are considered underemployed. Out of the estimated 7.0 million underemployed persons in January 2012, the underemployment rate or the proportion of underemployed to the total employed persons is registered at 18.8 percent. Three in every five (59.0%) of the total underemployed were reported as visibly underemployed or working less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 38.9 percent of the total underemployed (Table 9).
Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (43.6% of the total underemployed) and services sector (40.6%). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 15.8 percent of the total underemployed.
Proportion of unemployed persons to the labor force was recorded at 7.2 percent
In January 2012, the unemployment rate or the proportion of unemployed persons to the labor force was estimated at 7.2 percent. This placed the number of unemployed persons at about 2.9 million. In the same month last year, the estimate was 7.4 percent (Table 1).
Across regions, NCR posted the highest unemployment rate at 11.2 percent while Cagayan Valley registered the lowest at 2.5 percent (Table 1).
Greater part (63.6%) of the unemployed were males. Approximately one-half (48.5%) of the unemployed were in age group 15 to 24 years (Table 3).
Across educational groups, 33.7 percent of the total unemployed were high school graduates, 5.9 percent were post secondary graduates, 13.4 percent were college undergraduates, and 17.9 percent were college graduates (Table 10).
Majority of the persons who are not in the labor force are women
Around 36.0 percent of the population 15 years old and over in January 2012 were not in the labor force, like housewives, students, persons with disability, and retirees. Seven in ten (70.4%) persons not in the labor force were females.
Almost half (45.4%) of those who were not in the labor force belonged to the youngest age group, that is, age group 15 to 24 years (Table 3).
- Out of the estimated 62.7 million population 15 years old and over, there were 40.2 million persons in the labor force.
- The employment rate in January 2012 registered at 92.8 percent. In the same month last year, the rate was estimated at 92.6 percent.
- Majority (52.8%) of the employed population were in the services sector, 32.4 percent were in the agriculture sector and the rest (14.8%) were in the industry sector.
- Laborers and unskilled workers remained to be the largest proportion of the employed as they comprised almost one-third (32.7%) of the employed population. Farmers, forestry workers, and fishermen came next with 15.2 percent.
- Over one-half (55.3%) of the total employed persons were wage and salary workers, 29.5 percent were self-employed, 3.5 percent were employers in own family-operated farm or business, and 11.6 percent were unpaid family workers.
- Underemployment rate was estimated at 18.8 percent in January 2012. Last year’s rate was 19.4 percent.
- Unemployment rate in January 2012 was estimated at 7.2 percent. In the same month last year, the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent.
The Labor Force Survey (LFS) is a nationwide survey conducted quarterly by the National Statistics Office (
The reference period used in the survey is the past seven (7) days preceding the date of visit of the enumerator. The number of sample households was 51,000.
The concepts and definitions used in the survey can be found in
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:
i) belief that no work is available, or
ii) awaiting results of previous job application, or
iii) because of temporary illness or disability, or
iv) bad weather, or
v) waiting for rehire or job recall.
Note: 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 have a new job with longer working hours.
e. Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) – proportion of total labor force to the total household population 15 years and over.
f. Employment Rate – proportion of employed persons to the total labor force.
g. Unemployment Rate – proportion of unemployed persons to the total labor force.
h. Underemployment Rate – proportion of underemployed persons to total employed persons.
Starting with the July 2003 round, the LFS used the 2003 Master Sample Design. Using this design, the number of sample households is around 51,000 households.
The province of Basilan is included in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao while Isabela City (Basilan) is placed under Region IX, in accordance with Executive Order No. 36.
Starting with the January 2007 LFS round, the population projections based on the 2000 Census of Population and Housing 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.”
Starting with the January 2010 LFS round, a revised nomenclature on class of worker is adopted. 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 worker” is synonymous to the category “self-employed” in the Philippines LFS.
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. While in the classification of occupation, the 1992 four-digit code for Philippine Standard Occupational Classification updated in 2002 (PSOC) was still utilized.