Eastern Visayas registered a Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of 58.0 percent in January 2022. This placed the region’s labor force at 1.87 million persons who were either employed or unemployed out of the estimated 3.23 million population 15 years old and over in January 2022. The 58.0 percent LFPR in January 2022 was lower by 2.1 percentage points than the LFPR in October 2021 posted at 60.1 percent. This means that the 1.87 million persons in the labor force in January 2022 was lower by 48 thousand persons than the 1.92 million persons in the labor force in October 2021. This was also lower by around 30 thousand persons compared with the 1.90 million labor force reported in the same period in 2021 (Figure 1).
Eastern Visayas posted the second lowest LPFR among regions, even lower by 2.5 percentage points compared with the 60.5 percent national average. Among regions, CAR had the highest LFPR at 65.0 percent, while Western Visayas and SOCCSKSARGEN followed, both with 63.0 percent LFPR (Figure 2).
The Labor Force Survey (LFS) is a nationwide quarterly survey of households conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to gather data on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population until 2020. Starting 2021, the LFS was conducted monthly in response to the need for high frequency data to monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The LFS aims to provide a quantitative framework for the preparation of plans, and formulation of policies affecting the labor market. Specifically, the survey is designed to provide statistics on levels and trends of employment, unemployment, and underemployment for the country, as a whole, and for each of the administrative regions.
The survey operations for January 2022 LFS ran from 10 to 31 January 2022 and covered 170,645 eligible sample households. With the recent Typhoon Odette that heavy damaged the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, the data collection for January 2022 LFS in these provinces was postponed to February 2022. Thus, the preliminary estimates of the January 2022 LFS excludes Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, however, these will be reflected in the final results of the January 2022 LFS.
The January 2022 LFS utilized the 2013 Master Sample (MS) refreshed with the results of the 2015 Population Census. This was conducted in tandem with the second visit (Visit 2) of the2021 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) in like manner as the July 2021 LFS was also conducted along with the FIES Visit 1. The samples used in the January 2022 were the eligible households during the July 2021 survey round but with updated secondary sampling units (SSUs).
“Population 15 Years Old and Over” refers to the number of population 15 years old and over excluding overseas workers. “In the Labor Force” or “Economically Active Population” refers to persons 15 years old and over who are either employed or unemployed in accordance with the following definitions:
1. Employed persons include all those who, during the reference period are 15 years old and over as of their last birthday, and are reported either:
a. At work, i.e., those who do any work even for one hour during the reference period for pay or profit, or work without pay on the farm or business enterprise operated by a member of the same household related by blood, marriage, or adoption; or
b. With a job but not at work, i.e., those who have a job or business but are not at work because of temporary illness or injury, vacation, or other reasons. Likewise, persons who expect to report for work or to start operation of a farm or business enterprise within two weeks from the date of the enumerator’s visit are considered employed.
2. Underemployed persons include all employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job, or an additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours. Visibly underemployed persons are those who work for less than 40 hours during the reference period and want additional hours of work.
3. Unemployed persons include all those who, during the reference period, are 15 years old and over as of their last birthday, and reported as persons:
a. Without work, i.e., had no job or business during the reference period;
b. Currently available for work, i.e., were available and willing to take up work in paid employment or self-employment during the reference period, and/or would be available and willing to take up work in paid employment or self-employment within two weeks after the interview date; and
c. Seeking work, i.e., had taken specific steps to look for a job or establish a business during the reference period, or
d. Not seeking work due to the following reasons: (1) fatigued or believed no work available, i.e., discouraged workers; (2) awaiting results of previous job application; (3) temporary illness or disability; (4) bad weather; and/or (5) waiting for rehire or job recall.
4. “Persons Not in the Labor Force” are Persons 15 years old and over who are neither employed nor unemployed according to the definitions mentioned. Those not in the labor force are persons who are not looking for work because of reasons such as housekeeping, schooling and permanent disability. Examples are housewives, students, persons with disability, or retired persons.