Philippine Labor Force Survey October 2001

Reference Number: 2001-085
Release Date: December 18, 2001


Philippines October
Total 15 years old &
over (in 000)
49,424 49,137 48,742 48,413 48,076
Labor force (in 000)
Participation rate (%)
Employment (in 000)
Rate (%)
Unemployment (in 000)
Rate (%)
Underemployment (000)
Rate (%)

Note: All estimates used the 1995 Census-based Population Projection

  • Labor force population in October 2001 increased by 2.5 million or 7.9% to 33.4 million from last year's estimate of 30.9 million. Labor force participation rate likewise increased to 67.5% from 64.3%.
  • Employed persons increased by 8.3% to 30.1 million in October 2001 from 27.8 million of the same period last year.
    • Employment in agriculture rose by 8.2% to 11.3 million from 10.4 million a year ago but its share to total employed remained constant at 37.4%.
    • In industry, employment was up by 237 thousand or by 5.3% but its share to total employed decreased by 0.4 percentage point.
    • Employment in services increased by 1.2 million or by 9.5%. Its share to total employed increased to 47.0% from 46.5% last year.
  • Unemployment rate declined to 9.8% from 10.1% in October last year.
  • Underemployment rate decreased by 3.3 percentage points, from 19.9% in October last year to 16.6% this year.


Persons aged 15 years old and over...

  • Persons aged 15 years old and over were estimated at 49.4 million in October 2001, higher by 2.8 percent from 48.1 million last year.

Of the 49.4 million persons 15 years old and over, there were those who joined the labor force...

  • The total labor force population in October 2001 reached 33.4 million, up by 7.9 percent from its level of 30.9 million a year ago.
  • The labor force participation rate likewise, increased to 67.5 percent from 64.3 percent.
  • Persons not in the labor force like housewives, students, disabled and retired persons decreased by 6.4 percent, from 17.2 million a year ago to 16.1 million this year.

Of the 33.4 million persons in the labor force, there were those who were employed and those who were not ...

  • The number of employed persons in October 2001 increased to 30.1 million, up by 8.3%, from 27.8 million in October 2000.
  • The corresponding employment rate increased to 90.2 percent from 89.9 percent.

Of the 30.1 million persons employed, there were those either working in agriculture, industry or services...

  • The improvement in employment was due to the combined effects of additional number of people employed in the agriculture, industry and services sectors.
  • Employment in the services sector posted the highest increment of 9.5 percent or about 1.2 million being able to find jobs in the sector. In terms of level, the service workers swelled to 14.2 million in October from 12.9 million a year ago. Its share to total employment also increased to 47.0 percent from 46.5 percent.
  • The agricultural sector also increased its level by 851 thousand or by 8.2 percent to 11.3 million from 10.4 million a year ago but maintaining its share to total employment at 37.4 percent.
  • The industry sector increased by 5.3 percent but its share to total employment decreased by 0.4 percentage point, from 16.0 percent to 15.6 percent.

The employed in services�

  • Employment in the services sector was registered at 14.2 million in October 2001, a 9.5 percent increase from 12.9 million in the same period last year.
  • The wholesale and retail trade sub-sector accounted for the largest share, increasing employment by 942 thousand. Financing, insurance, real estate and business services contributed a 170 thousand increase in employment while transportation, storage and communication had 147 thousand increase. Community, social and personal services declined by 29 thousand.

The employed in agriculture...

  • The unpaid family workers contributed substantially to the increase in the number of employed in the agriculture sector with 368 thousand while own account workers accounted for an additional 250 thousand. The number of wage and salary workers in the agriculture sector also increased by 234 thousand.

The employed in industry�

  • Employment in the industry sector also went up to 4.7 million in October 2001 from 4.4 million a year earlier. This was due mainly to increases recorded in construction (140 thousand) and manufacturing (99 thousand). Mining and quarrying declined by 2 thousand while electricity, gas and water posted a constant level at 116 thousand.

Of the 30.1 million employed, there were those who were paid wages and salaries, worked on their account, or worked for the family...

  • The increase in the October 2001 employment was attributed largely to the increase in the number of wage and salary workers, which came mostly from the services sector. The number of wage and salary workers rose from 13.8 million in October 2000 to 14.8 million this year. Wage and salary workers under the services sector registered a 6.5 percent increase, from 7.9 million to 8.5 million.
  • Own-account workers added 773 thousand to the total employed with the services sector again contributing much to the increase. The decline (99 thousand) in the number of own-account workers in the community, social and personal services was offset by the combined increase (570 thousand) in the number of own-account workers in wholesale and retail trade, transportation, storage and communication and financing, insurance and real estate.
  • The number of unpaid family workers also increased by 618 thousand, from 3.5 million to 4.1 million. This increase could be due to the increasing number of employed workforce in the agricultural sector with a registered level of 3.0 million from 2.6 million.

The employed by region...

  • All regions exhibited employment growth with Southern Tagalog posting the highest increment of 412 thousand. The National Capital Region and Central Luzon registered second and third with an increase of 377 thousand and 205 thousand, respectively. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao recorded the least increase in employment at thirty one thousand.
  • Most of the regions showed minimal increases in employment rates with Central Mindanao posting the highest increase of 1.7 percentage points. The National Capital Region followed next with 1.3 percentage points and Cordillera Administrative Region by 1.1 percentage points.
  • The employment rate in Western Visayas and Western Mindanao remained constant at 91.0 and 93.0 percent, respectively.
  • Five (5) regions experienced a decline in employment rate. Northern Mindanao decreased by 1.0 percentage point; Southern Mindanao, by 0.7 percentage point; Central Luzon, by 0.4; Ilocos Region and Eastern Visayas, by 0.3 and 0.2, respectively.

The employed by number of hours worked...

  • Full-time workers or those who worked for 40 hours or more increased to 18.3 million in October 2001 from 18.1 million. However, its share to total employment decreased by 4.3 percentage points, from 65.0 percent to 60.7 percent.
  • Those who worked for less than 40 hours increased both in levels and proportion to total employment. The number rose to 11.3 million in October 2001 from 9.4 million last year. Its share, likewise, increased by 3.8 percentage points, from 33.9 percent to 37.7 percent.

Of the employed, there were those who desired more hours of work, the underemployed...

  • The number of underemployed persons or those who desired additional hours of work decreased by 533 thousand to 5.0 million in October 2001 from 5.5 million a year ago. The corresponding underemployment rate dropped to 16.6 percent this year from 19.9 percent last year.
  • More underemployed persons are found in the rural areas than in the urban. Around 3.0 million (60.7% of the total) were registered in rural areas while almost 2.0 million (39.3%) were recorded in urban areas.
  • The services sector recorded the highest decrease in underemployment at 255 thousand (12.7%), while the agricultural sector reduced its underemployment by 252 thousand (9.5%). The industry recorded the least decrease in underemployment at 26 thousand (2.9%).

And there were those who looked for work and did not find any, the unemployed...

  • The national unemployment rate improved to 9.8 percent in October 2001 from 10.1 percent a year ago.
  • Unemployment levels, however, increased by 4.4 percent to 3.3 million in October 2001 from 3.1 million last year.
  • Only three regions posted a double-digit unemployment rate with Metro Manila posting the highest at 16.5 percent but this rate was lower by 1.3 percentage points when compared to last year's unemployment rate of 17.8 percent. Southern Tagalog also posted a double-digit unemployment rate but with declined unemployment rate of 10.6 from 11.3 percent.


Labor Force by Year

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Mechelle M. Viernes
Income and Employment Statistics Division 
Social Sector Statistics Service
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