Philippine Labor Force Survey April 2006 (Preliminary Results)

Reference Number: 2006-040
Release Date: June 15, 2006


Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition was adopted per NSCB Resolution No. 15 dated October 20, 2004. As indicated in the said resolution, the unemployed include all persons who are 15 years old and over as of their last birthday and are reported as (1) without work; AND (2) currently available for work; AND (3) seeking work OR not seeking work due to valid reasons.


Philippines    April 2006       April 2005   
   Total 15 years old and over  
  (in '000)
55,393 54,195
   Labor Force (in 000)
   Labor Force Participation Rate (%)
   Employment (in '000)
   Employment Rate (%)
   Unemployment (in 000)
   Unemployment Rate (%)
   Underemployment (in 000)
   Underemployment Rate (%)

Note: Estimates are preliminary results and subject to change.


Better employment situation seen this quarter...

  • The employment level grew by 2.5 percent or 803 thousand in April 2006 over the recorded level of 32.2 million in April last year.

  • The increase in employment was mostly provided by the agriculture sector as it increased by 3.9 percent, from 11.0 million in April 2005 to 11.4 million in April 2006.

  • Likewise, employment in the services sector posted a 378 thousand increase with all sub-sectors registering positive employment growth except financial intermediation and health and social work which recorded a decrease of 27 thousand and 5 thousand, respectively.

  • Employment in the industry sector remained at 5.2 million, although there were respective gains in employment in the mining & quarrying and electricity, gas & water sub-sectors (39 thousand and 26 thousand, respectively), employment in manufacturing and construction both declined at 24 thousand and 41 thousand, respectively.

  • Full time workers or those who worked for 40 hours and over decreased to 18.7 million in April 2006, from 20.1 million in April 2005 while part time workers or those who worked for less than 40 hours increased by about 2.0 million or 17.0 percent to 13.5 million.

  • The highest employment rate across regions was recorded in Cagayan Valley at 96.8 percent while the lowest was in National Capital Region at 86.0 percent.

  • Wage and salary workers numbered 16.7 million, accounting for 50.5 percent of the total employed. About 12.4 million (37.7%) were own account workers and 3.9 million (11.9%) were unpaid family workers.

  • The increase in agriculture (427 thousand) was due to the increase in unpaid family workers (175 thousand) while the increase in services sector (378 thousand) was mainly from additional wage and salary workers (219 thousand).

  • Growth was seen among all the class of workers, with the wage and salary workers (365 thousand) who were mostly in the services sector (219 thousand) reporting the biggest gain. The 298 thousand increase among unpaid family workers was mostly due to the 175 thousand and 102 thousand increases in the agriculture and services sectors, respectively. The own account workers likewise reported a positive growth with 139 thousand increase although there was a 13 thousand decrease in the industry sector.

  • Occupation-wise, the share of laborers and unskilled workers posted the biggest increase both in levels and percent share (333 thousand and 0.2 percentage point, respectively). This was followed by the 212 thousand additional farmers, forestry workers and fishermen.

  • The employed population consisted of 20.1 million males (60.7%) and 13.0 million (39.3%) females. Distributed by age group, the most number of employed persons belong to the 25 to 34 year age group, constituting more than one-fourth of the total employed (26.6%). Those in the 35 to 44 year and 15 to 24 year age group came next with 23.0 percent and 20.5 percent share, respectively.

Slight decrease in underemployment noted this quarter...

  • The number of underemployed persons or those who desired additional hours of work decreased by 20 thousand at 8.401 million in April 2006 from 8.421 million a year ago. Thus, the rate of underemployment (25.4%) edged down 0.7 percentage point from 26.1 percent in April 2005.

  • The underemployed population comprised of 4.90 million part-time workers and 3.3 million full-time workers.

  • The largest proportion of underemployed persons came from the agriculture sector with 41.5 percent, followed closely by those in the services sector with 40.9 percent. Majority of the underemployed agricultural workers were part time workers (72.9%).

Labor Force participation rate remained at two-thirds share of the total population...

  • The total labor force in April 2006 was estimated at 36.0 million, translating to a labor force participation rate of 64.9 percent.

  • Relatively, more than one-third (35.1%) of the population 15 years old and over in April 2006 were not in the labor force, like housewives, disabled, students, and retired persons.

  • Females dominated the population who were not in the labor force with 70.8 percent while males with 29.2 percent.

  • Majority of persons who were not in the labor force belong to the younger age groups, that is, 43.0 percent were 15 to 24 years old and 17.4 percent were 25 to 34 years old.

Unemployment reached 8.2 percent in April 2006...

  • Of the 36.0 million labor force participants, 2.93 million were reported unemployed, resulting to an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.

  • Although the number of unemployed persons increased by 0.7 percent to 2.93 million in April 2006 from 2.91 million in April last year, its share to total labor force decreased by 0.1percentage point, from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent.

  • Among the total unemployed persons, around 48.5 percent were 15-24 years old while the rest were 25 years old and over.

  • In April 2006, about 1.4 million of the 2.9 million unemployed were actually looking for work. More than half of which (765 thousand) had been looking for work for less than four weeks. They represented 55.7 percent of the total unemployed persons looking for work.

  • On the other hand, around 53.2 percent of the total unemployed persons did not look for work.

Comparison with the old unemployment series

  • If the old definition of unemployment is used, (that is considering only two criteria: (1) without work and (2) looking for work including those not seeking work with valid reasons), the unemployment rate for April 2006 would register at 11.8 percent, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from last year?s 12.7 percent. The unemployment level would be 4.4 million in April 2006 compared to 4.7 million in April 2005, also using the old definition.


Technical Notes

  • Starting with the July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey, the generation of the labor force and employment statistics adopted the 2003 Master Sample Design.

  • Using this new master sample design, the number of samples increased from 41,000 to around 51,000 sample households.

  • The province of Basilan is grouped under Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao while Isabela City (Basilan) is now grouped under Region IX, in accordance with Executive Order No.36.

  • The 1992 four-digit code for Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) and 1994 Philippine Standard Industry Classification (PSIC) were used in classifying the occupation and industry.

  • Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition was adopted per NSCB Resolution no. 15 dated October 20, 2004. As indicated in the said resolution, the unemployed include all persons who are 15 years old 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 

Labor Force by Year


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