Labor Force Survey (LFS)

The Labor Force Survey (LFS) is a nationwide survey conducted quarterly by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) during the months of January, April, July, and October. 

The reference period used in the survey refers to the past seven (7) days preceding the date of visit of the enumerator. The number of sample households was about 45,000.

The concepts and definitions used in the survey can be found in PSA-ISH Bulletins. Some are given below:

              a.  Labor Force- refers to the population 15 years old and over who contribute or seek to contribute to the production of goods and services as defined in the system of National Account production boundary. It comprises the employed and unemployed.

              b.  Employed- refers to persons in the labor force who are reported either as at work or with a job or business although not at work. Persons at work are those who did some work, even for an hour during the reference period.

              c.  Unemployed- refers to persons in the labor force who are reported as:

              1) without work;

              2) currently available for work; and

              3) seeking work or not seeking work due to the following reasons:

                 i) belief that no work is available, or

                 ii) awaiting results of previous job application, or

                 iii) because of temporary illness or disability, or

                 iv) bad weather, or

                 v) waiting for rehire or job recall.

              The new definition of unemployed was adopted starting April 2005 per NSCB Resolution No. 15 dated October 20, 2004.

              The old definition of unemployed considered only two criteria:

              1)  Without work and looking for work; or

              2)  Without work and not looking for work due to reasons cited in 3(i) to 3(v).

              d. Underemployed- refers to employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or an additional job, or have a new job with                         longer working hours.

              e. Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR)- proportion of total labor force to the total household population 15 years and over.

              f. Employment Rate- proportion of employed persons to the total labor force.

              g. Unemployment Rate- proportion of unemployed persons to the total labor force.

              h. Underemployment Rate- proportion of underemployed persons to total employed persons.

Starting with the July 2003 round, the LFS used the 2003 Master Sample (MS) Design. Using this design, the number of sample households is around 50,000 households.

 The province of Basilan is included in the ARMM while Isabela City (Basilan) is placed under Region IX, in accordance with Executive Order No. 36.

Starting with the January 2007 LFS round, the population projections based on the 2000 Census of Population and Housing 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.”

Starting with the January 2010 LFS round, a revised nomenclature on class of worker was adopted.  In the reports on previous rounds of LFS, particularly in the statistical tables on employed persons by class of worker, the self-employed and employer in own family-operated farm or business were classified as own-account workers.  For the same statistical table in this report, the term own-account worker no longer appears as heading for employer and self-employed to avoid confusion.  In the International Classification of Status in Employment (ICSE), the term “own-account worker” is synonymous to the category “self-employed” in the Philippines LFS.

Starting with the January 2012 LFS round, the codes for industry adopted the 2009 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC).  Prior to this, codes for industry used the 1994 PSIC.  While for the classification of occupation, the 1992 four-digit code for Philippine Standard Occupational Classification updated in 2002 (PSOC) is still being utilized.  Question on vocational course was also introduced in the January 2012 LFS questionnaire.

Starting April 2016 round, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) adopted the 2013 Master Sample Design, with a sample size of approximately 44,000 households.  The 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) was adopted starting April 2016.

The 1992 PSOC had been used prior to April 2016. Starting with the April 2016 LFS round, the population projections based on the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (2010 CPH) was adopted to generate the labor force statistics.

Overseas Filipino Workers are not considered part of the labor force in the Philippines.  Hence, in the LFS, data on economic characteristics of household members who are overseas workers are not collected.  For the LFS reports, they are excluded in the estimation of the size of working population, that is, population aged 15 years and older, and in the estimation of the labor force.

Source:  Philippine Statistics Authority



1. Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR)

LFPR= (Labor Force ÷ Household Population 15 years old and over) x100

Note: For purposes of determining LFPR, household population 15 years old and over excludes OFWs and employees in Philippine embassies, consulates and other missions.

2. Employment Rate (ER)

E R= (Employed Persons ÷ Labor Force) x 100

3. Underemployment Rate (UER)

UER= (Underemployed Persons ÷ Employed) x 100

4. Unemployment Rate (UR)

UR= (Unemployed Persons ÷ Labor Force) x 100

N o t e :  ER + UR = 100%