Unemployment Rate Posted at 7.6 Percent in July 2009 Results from the July 2009 Labor Force Survey (LFS)

Reference Number: 2009-085
Release Date: September 15, 2009


The number of unemployed persons in July 2009 was estimated at 2.9 million persons, higher by 6.3 percent than the estimate reported last year of the same survey period at 2.7 million persons. However, the current unemployment rate of 7.6 percent is not significantly different from the July 2008 rate which was 7.4 percent.

Across regions, the National Capital Region (NCR) (12.1%) and CALABARZON (11.1%) posted the highest unemployment rate and lowest in ARMM at 3.4 percent.

The latest survey also revealed the current employment rate at 92.4 percent. Last year's employment rate was 92.6 percent. The National Capital Region recorded the lowest employment rate at 87.9 percent. Aside from NCR, CALABARZON (88.9%) had employment rate lower than the national employment rate.

Of the estimated 59.5 million population 15 years old and over in July 2009, about 38.4 million persons were reported to be in the labor force. This translates to a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 64.6 percent as compared to last year's LFPR of 64.3 percent. Among the regions, Northern Mindanao registered the highest LFPR at 71.2 percent and lowest in ARMM at 59.1 percent.

Of the estimated 35.5 million employed persons in July 2009, more than half (51.5%) worked in the services sector with those employed in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods sub-sector comprising the largest sub-sector (18.9% of the total employed). Workers in the agriculture sector accounted for 33.6 percent of the total employed, with workers in the agriculture, hunting and forestry making up the largest sub-sector (29.5% of the total employed). Only 14.8 percent of the total employed were in the industry sector.

Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest proportion (33.0%) of the total employed population. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group, accounting for 16.2 percent of the total employed population.

Employed persons fall into any of these categories: wage and salary workers, own account workers and unpaid family workers. Wage and salary workers are those who work for private households, private establishments, government or government corporations and those who work with pay in own-family operated farm or business. More than half (55.3%) of the employed persons were wage and salary workers, more than one-third (33.9%) were own-account workers, and 10.8 percent were unpaid family workers. Among the wage and salary workers, those working for private establishments comprised the largest proportion (40.8% of the total employed). Government workers or those working for government corporations comprised only 8.3 percent of the total employed, while 6.0 percent were workers in private households. Meanwhile, among the own account workers, the self-employed comprised the majority (29.5% of total employed).

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. Around 23.0 million employed persons (64.9%) were working full time in July 2009, while, 34.1 percent of total employed were part-time workers or worked for less than 40 hours.

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 July 2009 was estimated at 7.0 million, placing the underemployment rate at 19.8 percent. More than half (54.5%) of the total underemployed were reported as visibly underemployed or working for less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 43.9 percent of the total underemployed. Most of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (44.1%) and services sector (40.3%). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 15.6 percent.

The number of unemployed persons was higher among males (60.7%) than among females (39.3%). By age group, for every 10 unemployed persons, five (52.8%) belonged to age group 15-24 years while 28.0 percent of the total unemployed were in the age group 25-34.

Across educational groups, among the unemployed, the high school graduates comprised more than one-third (33.0%), the college undergraduates comprised about one-fifth (21.5%), while the college graduates, 19.7 percent.





Technical Notes

  • Starting with the July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the generation of the labor force and employment statistics adopted the 2003 Master Sample Design.
  • Using this master sample design, the number of samples increased from 41,000 for LFS conducted from January 1997 to April 2003 to around 51,000 sample households for July 2003 and subsequent rounds of the LFS.
  • The 1992 four-digit code for Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) and 1994 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC) were used in classifying the occupation and industry.
  • Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition was adopted per NSCB Resolution Number 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:

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

  • Starting with the January 2007 LFS round, the population projections based on the 2000 Census of Population 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".


Source:       Income and Employment Statistics Division

Household Statistics Department

National Statistics Office

Manila, Philippines


Page last revised: September 15, 2009

Labor Force by Year


Contact Us

Income and Employment Statistics Division 
Social Sector Statistics Service
 J.Luis@psa.gov.ph   +632 8376 2092