Department of Labor and Employment: February 2023 survey reflects improving employment situation

2023 April 15

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the results of the Philippine Statistics Authority Labor Force Survey (LFS) for February reflects the continuous improvement in the employment situation.

In a news release on Saturday, DOLE noted that the survey highlights the increase in the number of Filipinos joining the labor force, with a participation rate of 66.6 percent or 51.27 million.

The data reflect 2.67 million more than the labor force participation during the same period last year and 1.548 million above the reported labor force participation in the previous month.

“The increase in the country’s employment rate by 1.6 percentage points or from 93.6 percent in February 2022 to 95.2 percent in February 2023 translates to 48.8 million employed Filipinos,” the DOLE said.

The increase in employment may be attributed to employment expansion in wholesale and retail trade (repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles at +701,000 or 6.96 percent); accommodation and food service activities (+580,000 or 34.8 percent); agriculture and forestry (+554,000 or 5.76 percent); other service activities (+362,000 or 13.83 percent); and fishing and aquaculture (+340,000 or 27.45 percent), according to DOLE.

As for unemployment, the department saw a notable decrease in the number of unemployed on a year-on-year comparison, from 6.4 percent in February 2022 to 4.8 percent in February 2023.

“The same trend was observed in the youth unemployment rate, which reported a decline of 5.2 percentage points or from 14.3 percent in February 2022 to 9.1 percent in February 2023. Moreover, the underemployment rate eased by 1.1 percentage points, from 14 percent in February 2022 to 12.9 percent this year,” it added.

The youth employment rate in February was estimated at 90.9 percent, higher than the youth employment rate in January (89.2 percent) and February 2022 (85.7 percent).

The LFS, released April 11, likewise showed that wage and salary workers contribute the largest share of employed persons with 60.9 percent of the total employed population 15 years and older; followed by self-employed persons without any paid employee at 27.2 percent; and unpaid family workers at 9.8 percent.

Employers in family-operated farms or businesses had the lowest share at 2.1 percent.

Among wage and salary workers, employed persons in private establishments made up 46.6 percent of the total employed, followed by those employed in government or government-controlled corporations with a 9.4 percent share.

The DOLE said it constantly aligns its initiatives, implementation, and policy directions with the national and sectoral plans while recognizing the current and emerging challenges in the labor market.

It also prioritizes the upskilling and reskilling of workers, especially the new entrants to the labor force, to increase their competitiveness and employability.