Employment Rate in January 2012 is Estimated at 92.8 Percent (Results from the January 2012 Labor Force Survey)

Reference Number: 2012-020
Release Date: March 15, 2012



   January 2012 1/       January 2011    
   Population 15 years and over (in '000)2/ 62,689 61,531
   Labor Force Participation Rate (%) 64.3 63.7
   Employment Rate (%) 92.8 92.6
   Unemployment Rate (%) 7.2 7.4
   Underemployment Rate (%) 18.8 19.4

                          Notes: 1/ Estimates for January 2012 are preliminary and may change.
                                    2/ Population 15 years and over is from the 2000 Census-based population projections.


The January 2012 Labor Force Survey (LFS) survey results registered an employment rate of 92.8 percent, which is not significantly different from the estimate reported in January 2011, which was 92.6 percent.

Cagayan Valley posted the highest employment rate in January 2012 at 97.6 percent. The following regions had also posted high employment rates, namely: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), 97.0 percent, MIMAROPA and Zamboanga Peninsula, each registering a rate of 96.6 percent, and SOCCSKSARGEN, 96.0 percent. The National Capital Region (NCR) had the lowest employment rate at 87.8 percent.

Out of the estimated 62.7 million population 15 years old and over in January 2012, those in the labor force was estimated at 40.3 million. This figure translates to a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 64.3 percent. The LFPR in January 2011 was 63.7 percent. Among the regions, MIMAROPA registered the highest labor force participation rate at 70.4 percent while the lowest LFPR was posted in ARMM at 57.8 percent.

The number of employed persons in January 2012 was estimated at 37.4 million persons. Those employed in the services sector comprised the largest group, making up more than half (52.7%) of the total employed persons. Employed persons engaged in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles comprised the largest group in the services sector (19.3% of total employed).

Workers in the agriculture sector comprised the second largest group, consisting almost one-third (32.6%) of the total employed persons. Only 14.7 percent of the total employed was in the industry sector.

Among the various occupation groups, the laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest group making up 32.1 percent of the total employed persons in January 2012. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group with 15.4 percentage share.

Employed persons fall into any of these categories: wage and salary workers, self-employed workers without any paid employee, employer in own family-operated farm or business, and unpaid family workers. 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. The majority (54.8%) of the total employed population in January 2012 were wage and salary workers, with the largest percentage (41.6% of total employed) working for private establishments. Those working for the government or government-controlled corporations accounted for only 8.2 percent and those working for private households, 4.8 percent. In January 2011, wage and salary workers accounted for 54.7 percent of the total employed.

Self-employed workers without any paid employee constituted 30.1 percent of the total employed in January 2012, while employers in own family-operated farm or business made up 3.6 percent share. The unpaid family workers accounted for 11.5 percent of the 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. Of the total employed persons in January 2012, 62.1 percent were working full time while 36.7 percent were part-time workers.

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 January 2012 was estimated at 7.0 million placing the underemployment rate at 18.8 percent. The underemployment rate in January 2011 was estimated at 19.4 percent. Fifty-nine percent the total underemployed persons were visibly underemployed or working for less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working for 40 hours or more accounted for 38.8 percent. A large percentage of the underemployed were working in the agriculture sector (43.8%) and services sector (40.5%). The underemployed in the industry sector accounted for 15.7 percent.

The unemployment rate in January 2012 was estimated at 7.2 percent, which is not significantly different from the rate reported in January 2011. NCR posted the highest unemployment rate at 12.2 percent while Cagayan Valley posted the lowest at 2.4 percent. Among the unemployed, there were more males (63.5%) than females (36.5%). Almost half (49.0%) of the unemployed were in age group 15-24 years.

Across educational groups, one-third (33.7%) of the unemployed were high school graduates, 13.5 percent were college undergraduates, while 17.8 percent were college graduates.



                                                                                                                                                                (Sgd.) CARMELITA N. ERICTA






  • Starting July 2003, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) adopted the 2003 Master Sample Design, with a sample size of approximately 50,000 households.

  • Starting January 2012 LFS, the codes for industry adopted the 2009 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC). Prior to this, codes for industry used the 1994 PSIC.

  • Additional codes for highest grade completed were incorporated in the January 2012 LFS questionnaire.

  • Question on vocational course was also introduced in the January 2012 LFS questionnaire.

  • 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

Labor Force by Year


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Wilma A. Guillen
Income and Employment Statistics Division 
Social Sector Statistics Service
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