Unemployment Rate in May 2021 is Estimated at 7.7 Percent

Reference Number: 2021-256
Release Date: July 1, 2021

Table A-1

Highlights of the May 2021 Labor Force Survey

a. The country’s unemployment rate in May 2021 was estimated at 7.7 percent, the second lowest reported since the start of the year, following the 7.1 percent reported in March 2021. The unemployment rate in May 2021 was lower than the unemployment rate in April 2021 at 8.7 percent. This was also lower than the unemployment rate in January 2021 (8.7%) and February 2021 (8.8%). (Table A)

b. Total number of unemployed individuals 15 years old and over decreased by 408 thousand individuals during the month, from 4.14 million in April 2021 to 3.73 million in May 2021. (Table A)

c. The labor force participation rate (LFPR) in May 2021 was placed at 64.6 percent, equivalent to 48.45 million individuals who were either employed or unemployed. This is higher than the LFPR reported in the months of January (60.5%), February (63.5%), and April (63.2%) of 2021. (Table A)

d. Employment rate in the country in May 2021 (92.3%) rebounded from the previous month, although slightly lower than the highest employment rate this year at 92.9 percent in March. The May 2021 employment rate is higher than the rates reported in January (91.3%), February 2021 (91.2%), and April 2021 (91.3%). (Table A)

Total employed persons was posted at 44.72 million in May 2021 or 1.45 million increase in employment from the previous month’s level of 43.27 million.  Employed persons reported with job but not at work dropped to 1.4 percent in May 2021 from 2.5 percent in April 2021. (Tables A and 2)

e. The average weekly hours worked by an employed person in May 2021 increased to 39.0 hours, from 38.0 hours in April 2021.  It was, however, lower than the 39.7 hours per week in March 2021. (Table 2)

f. Underemployment rate in May 2021 was estimated at 12.3 percent. This was the lowest reported since January 2021.  In terms of magnitude, about 5.49 million persons were reported underemployed in May 2021. The highest estimate was reported in February 2021 at 7.85 million. (Table A)

g. Among men and women, the LFPR has been consistently higher among men than women. LFPR for men in May 2021 was 76.1 percent while it was 52.9 percent for women. Employment rate for men was 92.3 percent while it was 92.4 percent for women. Moreover, men had higher underemployment rate at 14.1 percent than women at 9.7 percent.  (Table D)

h. By broad industry group, the services sector continued to account for the largest share with 57.8 percent of the total employed persons in May 2021. The agriculture and the industry sectors accounted for 23.8 percent and 18.4 percent of the total employed persons, respectively. (Table 1)

The following are the top five sub-sectors with the highest number of employed persons:

a.  Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor and motorcycles (10.24 million);
b. Agriculture and forestry (9.49 million);
c. Construction (4.40 million);
d. Manufacturing (3.55 million); and
e. Transportation and Storage (2.91 million). (Table B)

i. Youth LFPR was estimated at 38.4 percent in May 2021.  Youth employment rate increased to 85.5 percent in May 2021 from 84.2 percent reported in April 2021. On the other hand, youth underemployment rate decreased to 10.0 percent in May 2021 from 15.5 percent a month ago. Youth unemployment was registered at 14.5 percent of the total youth labor force in May 2021. (Table A)


National Statistician and Civil Registrar General

Labor Force by Year

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Press Conference on the November 2021 Labor Force Survey
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Mechelle M. Viernes
Income and Employment Statistics Division 
Social Sector Statistics Service
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