The results of the January 2018 LFS round indicated a vibrant labor market in terms of employment generation. Labor force participation rate (LFPR) rose to 62.2 percent in January 2018 from 60.7 percent in January 2017. Improvements were observed in female LFPR, indicating more opportunities for women in the domestic labor market. At the same time, employment expanded by 6.1 percent (41.8 million) with an estimated 2.4 million net employment generation, relative to January 2017. This was bolstered by employment gains in the services (3.8% or 847,000 jobs) and industry sectors (10.5% or 719,000 jobs). Likewise, unemployment rate eased at 5.3 percent from 6.6 percent, the lowest unemployment rate recorded for all LFS January rounds in the past decade. This is in line with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) target of 4.7%-5.3% for 2018. However, the decent work gains are offset by the deficiencies in the quality employment generated, as the proportion of remunerative work, full-time employment, and means hours of work declined. The underemployment rate increased notably by 1.7 percentage points (ppts) from 16.3 percent to 18.0 percent, which warrants a national concern. Moreover, vulnerable employment rate, as measured by share of self-employed and unpaid family workers to total employment, rose to 34.7% from 33.5% year-on-year. In terms of hours worked, the share of part-time employment went up to 35.2 percent (vs. 34.2% in January 2017).

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Title: January 2018 Labor Force Survey (LFS) Results
Researcher: Employment Research Division