Data Highlights

Starting April 2016, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) has adopted the 2013 Master Sample Design which has a sample size of approximately 44,000 households.  It likewise used the population projections based on the 2010 Census of Population and Housing.  Other changes made were the use of the 2012 Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) from the previously utilized 2002 Update of the PSOC.  
The country’s labor force was estimated at 43.256 million with the total household population of 15 years old and over registered at 71.014 million, preliminary results of the April 2018 Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.  This translates to a labor force participation rate (LFPR) of 60.9 percent, slightly down by  0.5 percentage point from the LFPR of 61.4 percent in April 2017.  The labor force increased by 542,000 (1.3%)  as against 42.714 million in April 2017 but at slower pace than the 2.0 percent (1.409 million) growth rate of the household population of 15 years old and over during the period. 
The total number of employed persons in the country was estimated at 40.896 million, an increase of 625,000 (1.6%) from the 40.271 million employed in the same period last year.  The substantial increases in employment were observed in female (2.7% or 405,000); those aged 25-34 years old (3.0% or 322,000) and 65 years old and over (6.7% or 113,000); and college undergraduates (24.9% or 1.01 million).
Further, the number of full-time workers (those who worked 40 hours and over in a week) likewise went up by 3.297 million (13.5%) from 24.497 million in 2017 to 27.794 million in 2018 while, part-time workers (those working less than 40 hours in a week) recorded a decrease of 2.544 million (-16.7%) from 15.215 million to 12.671 million (2018). 
The increase in the number of employed person mostly came from the regions in Luzon led by Region III (316,000); Region I (305,000) and Region V (154,000).  On the other hand, declines in the number of employed persons were posted in Region VII (-241,000); Region IX (-143,000) and Region XI (-122,000). 
By major industry group, the services sector gave the largest boost to employment as it posted an increment of 742,000 mostly coming from the public administration and defense, compulsory social security (266,000); other service activities (114,000); and the administrative and support service activities (102,000).  The industry sector also registered an increase of 605,000, which was mainly augmented by growths in construction (468,000) and manufacturing (111,000).  However, a decline was registered in the agriculture sector (-723,000), as both the agriculture, hunting and forestry and fishing and aquaculture suffered reductions in employment.
Most of the major occupations registered positive growth rates on employment led by technician and associate professionals at 15.8 percent (229,000) and craft and related workers at 13.6 percent (408,000).  On the other hand, with the decline in the employment of the agricultural sector, a 6.3 percent (-341,000) decrement was recorded among skilled agricultural forestry and fishery workers.
By class of worker, wage and salary workers posted the highest increase in employment at 5.6 percent or 1.380 million, largely coming from those working in private establishments.  Meanwhile, self-employed workers suffered a set-back as their employment went down by 238,000 for the period.
The number of underemployed persons or employed persons who expressed 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 in April 2018 was estimated at 6.934 million, translating to an underemployment rate of 17.0 percent.  This was higher by 0.9 percentage point than the 16.1 percent rate posted in the same period a year ago. 
Of the total underemployed persons, 3.740 million were reported as visibly underemployed or working less than 40 hours during the reference week. Those working 40 hours or more accounted for 3.194 million of the total underemployed.
Among regions, Bicol (34.5%) recorded the highest underemployment rate in April 2018, while ARMM posted the lowest at 5.8 percent.
About 2.360 million Filipinos were unemployed in April 2018, a decrease of 83,000 from the 2.443 unemployed persons a year ago.  This translates to an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, lower by 0.2 percentage point than the rate posted in 2017 at 5.7 percent. Among the unemployed, 62.8 percent were males.  Forty-one percent (40.89%) of the unemployed have reached junior high school; and 45.8 percent were young workers aged 15-24 years old.
The average daily basic pay of wage and salary workers in January 2018 was registered at P427.76. Among major industry groups, workers in activities of extraterritorial organizations and bodies recorded the highest average daily basic pay of P861.58 followed by education at P787.82.
Almost all regions in Luzon, except MIMAROPA and Bicol Region posted declines in the number of unemployed persons led by Region III (-45,000 or 15.1%).
Ilocos Region (7.3%), National Capital Region (6.4%), and CALABARZON (6.6%) posted the highest unemployment rates for the period.
The average index of employment in non-agricultural industries in 2017 was posted at 194.8, higher by 4.4 index points from the 190.4 employment index in the previous year.
Minimum wage earners in private establishments in CALABARZON received a basic wage increase of P9.50 to P10.00 upon effectivity of Wage Order No. RBIVA-17 starting July 1, 2018. This brings the new minimum wage to a range of P317 to P400 in non-agriculture; P303 to P370 in agriculture sector; and P303 in retail/service establishments regularly employing not more than 10 workers.
The average index of compensation per employee in non-agricultural industries at constant 1978 prices in 2017 was reported at 123.1, 1.7 index points higher than the 121.4 registered in the previous year. Private services topped all other industries in terms of average index of compensation at 336.4 followed by transportation and communications at 243.2 index points.
The inflation rate for the country in June 2018 was recorded at 5.7 percent, an increase of 3.0 percent from the 2.7 percent posted a year ago. The high inflation rate is brought about by the steep growth in the Consumer Price Index from 147.9 index points in June 2017 to 156.3 index points in June 2018. Meanwhile, the Purchasing Power of the Peso (PPP) minimally weakened at P0.64 in June 2018 compared to year-ago figure of P0.68 in 2017.
The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant 2000 prices during the first quarter of 2018 increased to 6.8 percent from the 6.5 percent posted in the same period last year. The Gross National Income (GNI) slightly grew to 6.4 percent from 6.3 percent registered in the first quarter of 2018. 
The net inward foreign investments reported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the 1st quarter of 2018 reached US$1.893 billion, a gain of US$3.021 million from the same period last year. An increase in the net foreign direct investment of US$659 million was likewise recorded during the 1st quarter of 2018.
Among regions, the Cordillera Administrative Region had the highest Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) growth rate at constant 2000 prices in 2017 equivalent to 12.1 percent.
Based on the data sourced from the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) as reported in its Comparative Wages in Selected Asian Countries as of 31 May 2018, Japan provides the highest monthly minimum wage rates ranging from US$1,626.03 to US$2,113.62. South Korea came second with a monthly minimum wage at US$1,439.54.  Meanwhile, a minimum wage earner in the Philippines receives a monthly minimum pay ranging from US$172.87 to US$292.12 depending on which area or region the worker is employed. Countries that provide lower monthly minimum wages than the Philippines are Indonesia and Vietnam, with monthly minimum wage ranging from US$95.77 to US$240.25 and US$145.72 to US$164.60, respectively.