Two-thirds of the population 15 years and over are in the labor force
Of the estimated 62.2 million population 15 years old and over in October 2011, those who were in the labor force was estimated at 41.2 million (Tables 1 and 2). These figures translate to a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 66.3 percent. The LFPR in October last year was 64.2 percent. Among the regions, MIMAROPA registered the highest LFPR at 71.8 while Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) posted the lowest LFPR at 57.1 percent (Figure 1).
Employment rate is recorded at 93.6 percent
The employment rate or the proportion of employed persons to total labor force in October 2011 was estimated at 93.6 percent. This is higher than the estimate for October last year, which was 92.9 percent.
The top four regions in October 2011 in terms of employment rate were: ARMM, 97.7 percent; Cagayan Valley, 97.2 percent; Zamboanga Peninsula, 96.6 percent; and MIMAROPA, 96.5 percent. The National Capital Region (NCR) had the lowest employment rate at 89.6 percent (Table 1 and Figure 2).
Employed males outnumber employed females
The employed population in October 2011 was estimated at 38.6 million. Six in ten (60.3%) of the employed population in October 2011 were males (Table 3).
Sixteen percent of the total employed were males in age group 25 to 34 years.
Males in the age groups 35 to 44 years and 15 to 24 years comprised the next largest groups with shares of 13.4 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively, to the total number of employed persons (Figure 3).
More than half of the employed population are in the services sector
Of the 38.6 million employed population in October 2011, those in the services sector comprised the largest group (52.1%).Workers engaged in wholesale and retail, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods comprised the largest workforce in the services sector (20.2% of the total employed).
The second largest group of workers belonged to the agriculture sector, accounting for 33.4 percent of the total employed. The remainder of the total employed population was in the industry sector (14.5%) [Table 4 and Figure 4].
The same pattern was observed in October 2010 where 51.7 percent of the total employed worked in the services sector, 33.6 percent in the agriculture sector and 14.7 percent in the industry sector.
One in three employed persons is a laborer or unskilled worker
Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest proportion (33.2%) of the total employed population in October 2011, followed by farmers, forestry workers and fishermen with 15.0 percent (Table 5 and Figure 5). In October 2010, 32.4 percent of the total employed were laborers and unskilled workers, while 16.2 percent were farmers, forestry workers and fishermen.
Majority of employed persons are wage and salary workers
Employed persons fall into any of these categories: wage and salary worker, self-employed without any paid employee, employer in own family-operated farm or business, and unpaid family worker. 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. Majority (54.9%) of the total employed population in October 2011 were wage and salary workers, mostly working in private establishments (41.2% of the total employed) [Table 6 and Figure 6]. Those working for the government or government-controlled corporations accounted for only 8.0 percent. In October 2010, wage and salary workers accounted for 54.2 percent of the total employed.
Self-employed workers without any paid employee in October 2011 made up 28.8 percent of the total employed while employers in own family-operated farm or business accounted for 3.9 percent. Unpaid family workers comprised 12.4 percent.
For every ten wage and salary workers, six were in the services sector, and two were in agriculture. Among the self-employed, those in the services sector accounted for 49.4 percent, while those in agriculture, 44.4 percent. Among the unpaid family workers, two in every three were in the agriculture sector (67.8% of the unpaid family workers) [Table 7].
Two-thirds of employed persons work full-time
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. In October 2011, around 62.0 percent of the total employed were full-time workers, while 37.0 percent were part-time workers (Table 8). In the same month of the previous year, 63.8 percent of the total employed were full-time workers. The average number of hours worked in October 2011 was 41 while it was 42 in October 2010.
About one in every five employed persons wants more hours of work
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 2011 was estimated at 7.4 million, putting the underemployment rate at 19.1 percent. More than half (58.6%) of the total underemployed were reported as visibly underemployed or had been working for less than 40 hours during the reference week (Table 9A). Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 39.7 percent of the total underemployed.
Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (41.9%) and services sector (41.7%). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 16.4 percent (Table 9B and Figure 7).
Unemployment rate in October 2011 is 6.4 percent
The unemployment rate in October 2011 was estimated at 6.4 percent, which is lower compared to the previous year’s estimate of 7.1 percent. NCR posted the highest unemployment rate at 10.4 percent while ARMM posted the lowest at 2.3 percent (Table 1 and Figure 8). There were more unemployed males (62.7%) than females (37.3%). Almost half (49.5%) of the total unemployed were in age group 15 to 24 years (Table 3).
Across educational groups, one-third (33.0%) of the unemployed were high school graduates, 22.6 percent were college undergraduates, while 20.2 percent were college graduates (Table 10).
Seven in ten of the population who are not in the labor force are females
The number of persons who were not in the labor force like housewives, students, persons with disability, and retirees was approximately 21 million in October 2011. This number represents 33.7 percent of the total population 15 years old and over (Table 1). Seven in every ten (71.1%) persons who were not in the labor force were females (Table 3).
By age group, majority of those who were not in the labor force were below 35 years of age; that is, 44.4 percent were 15 to 24 years old and 16.8 percent were 25 to 34 years old (Table 3 and Figure 9).
- There were 41.2 million persons in the labor force out of the estimated 62.2 million population 15 years old and over.
- The employment rate in October 2011 was estimated at 93.6 percent. This is higher than the estimate for October last year, which was 92.9 percent.
- More than half or 52.1 percent of the employed population were in the services sector, 33.4 percent were in the agriculture sector, and the rest (14.5%) were in the industry sector.
- Laborers and unskilled workers continued to make up the largest proportion of the employed as they comprised one-third (33.2%) of the employed population. Farmers, forestry workers, and fishermen came second with 15.0 percent.
- More than half (54.9%) of the total employed persons were wage and salary workers, 28.8 percent were self-employed workers, 3.9 percent were employers in own family-operated farm or business, and 12.4 percent were unpaid family workers.
- Underemployment rate was estimated at 19.1 percent in October 2011 while it was 19.6 percent in October 2010.
- Unemployment rate in October 2011 was estimated at 6.4 percent.
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 visit 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) – refers to the proportion of total labor force to the total household population 15 years old and over.
- Employment Rate – refers to the proportion of employed persons to the total labor force.
- Unemployment Rate – refers to the proportion of unemployed persons to the total labor force.
- Underemployment Rate – refers to the proportion of underemployed persons to total employed persons.
Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition has been adopted per National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) Resolution No. 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:
- Tired or believed no work available
- Awaiting results of previous job application
- Temporary illness or disability
- Bad weather
- Waiting for rehire or job recall
Starting with the July 2003 round, 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.
The 1992 four-digit code for Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) and the 1994 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC) were used in classifying the occupation and industry, respectively.
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 was 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 workers” is synonymous to the category”self-employed” in the Philippines LFS.