LFS Concepts and Definition

Starting 1987, the LFS used a new questionnaire design and adopted modifications in the concepts and definitions for measuring labor force and employment characteristics. This design is based on a past week reference period. However, due to increasing demand for data such as salaries and wages, new entrants, other occupations, etc., the LFS questionnaire has undergone revision. Thus, starting on January 2001, a revised LFS questionnaire with these updates was used.
The LFS questionnaire was further revised starting January 2002 with the inclusion of the line number of respondent and a screening question whether the household member has other job or business during the past week. Starting July 2003, the new 2003 Master Sample (MS) Design was adopted.
Starting with the April 2005 LFS. a revised questionnaire was used. The revised instrument incorporated items of inquiry that were deemed necessary to adequately capture the availability criterion and to reflect the reference period for identifying the discouraged workers. These changes were needed to adopt the international standard definition of unemployment. Some questions on the elements of decent work were also included such as reasons for working more than 48 hours, as well as questions for children on their attendance to school.
The concepts and definitions used in the survey can be found in the regular NSO-ISH Bulletins. Some are given below:
a. Labor Force - refers to the population 15 years old and over who contribute to the production of goods and services in the country.
b. Employed - consists of persons in the labor force who were 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 - consists of all persons 15 years old and over as of their last birthday who are reported as; without work, i.e., had no job or business during the reference period; and 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 seeking work, i.e., had taken specific steps to look for a job or establish a business during the reference period; or not seeking work due to the following reasons: (1) tired/believed no work available, i.e., the discouraged workers; (2) awaiting results of previous job application; (3) temporary illness/disability; (4) bad weather, and (5) waiting for rehire/job recall.
d. Underemployed - refers to all employed persons who expressed 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. Visibly Underemployed - refers to all employed persons who worked less than 40 hours during the reference week and wanted additional hours of work.
f. Experienced Unemployed - refers to all unemployed persons who ever worked at anytime since the age of 15 for at least one hour either for pay, for profit or without pay on own family farm or business.
g. Not In The Labor Force - refers to persons 15 years old and over who are neither employed nor unemployed.
h. Discouraged Workers - refers to all persons without jobs and are not actively seeking/looking work because they believe that there are no available jobs.
i. Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) - ratio of total labor force or economically active 15 years old and over to the total population 15 years old and over.
j. Employment Rate - proportion of employed persons to the total labor force.
k. Unemployment Rate - proportion of unemployed persons to the total labor force.
l. Underemployment - proportion of employed persons wanting more hours of work to total employed persons

LFS Technical Notes

  • Starting with the July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey, the generation of the labor force and employment statistics adopted the 2003 Master Sample Design.
  • Using this new master sample design, the number of samples increased from 41,000 to around 51,000 sample households.
  • The province of Basilan is grouped under Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao while Isabela City (Basilan) is now grouped under Region IX, in accordance with Executive Order No.36.
  • The 1992 four-digit code for Philippine Standard Occupational Classification (PSOC) and 1994 Philippine Standard Industry Classification (PSIC) were used in classifying the occupation and industry.
  • Starting April 2005, the new unemployment definition was adopted per NSCB Resolution no. 15 dated October 20, 2004. As indicated in the said resolution, the unemployed include all persons who are 15 years old and over as of their last birthday and are reported as:
1.) without work and currently available for work and seeking work; or
2.) without work and currently available for work but not seeking work for the following reasons:
  • Tired/believe no work available
  • Awaiting results of previous job application
  • Temporary illness/disability
  • Bad weather
  • Waiting for rehire/job recall.