Regional Employment Rate Down in January 2020

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Monday, April 27, 2020


Employment in Cagayan Valley depicted a see-saw pattern for the past five reporting periods with the latest employment rate down for the second time in a span of one year. Six months ago or in July 2019, employment rate in the region (at 95.8 percent) plunged at its lowest rate in a year after a record high employment was recorded in April 2019. Based on the Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted last January 2020, the region’s latest employment at 96.0 percent was 0.5 percentage points below the record three months ago and 0.9 percentage points lower than the reported employment in July 2019.

Meanwhile, the national indicators of employment move in a similar fashion with that of the region, with the lowest national employment rate also recorded in July 2019. Three months after or in October 2019, the highest national employment in a year was recorded at 95.5 percent, almost one percentage points leaped from its lowest record noted three months ago. Withal, the latest national employment collated at 94.7 percent fell by 0.8 percentage points from the national average in October 2019. Surprisingly, the latest national average of employment is almost the same with the employment record posted a year ago.


Across the country, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) recorded the highest employment in the latest result of the LFS. From 95.0 percent employment rate last year, its latest employment climbed by 2.2 percentage points and ousted the region in the top position. The latest employment rate of CAR at 97.2 percent did not move from its report three months ago where it landed at the second spot in terms of employment during that reporting period. In January 2019, Cagayan Valley recorded the highest employment rate in the country at 96.9 percent, but its latest employment rate’s cut by 0.9 percentage points, placed the region at middle position in terms of the regional employment in the country. Region X (Northern Mindanao), with its latest employment at 96.8 percent, managed one step up from its third position last year with its increment of about one percentage points. It also held the third position in terms of employment in October 2019 LFS result. The SOCCKSARGEN region, Central Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula, in that order and in close ranges of employment rate, complete the top five regions in terms of employment in the country. Last year, these three regions were below the top five in terms of regional employment rate report while three months ago, Zamboanga Peninsula had the highest employment rate across the country.                

On the other hand, Ilocos region reported the lowest employment rate in January 2020, way below its report a year ago. Its latest employment rate at 91.2 percent displayed a remarkable identical decrease of more than three percentage points both from its report a year ago and three months ago. In October 2019, Ilocos region placed third at the bottom in terms of employment rate with its report at 94.8 percent. CALABARZON region maintained its position in the second spot at the bottom during the January 2019, October 2019 and January 2020 LFS while the National Capital Region managed to climbed two step from its last year’s lowest position but its latest employment rate is four pace below the rank it held three months ago.        

The latest result of the LFS also reveals a commanding decrease in the labor force population in the region from its estimate three months ago. From 2.47 million in October 2019, only about 2.42 million was counted in January 2020. This is about 2.22 percent decrement in a span of three months or about 55 thousand reduction in the region’s labor force after October 2019. Further, the latest labor force population is almost at the same level with that of the record a year ago and in April 2019 result. On the other hand, labor force participation rate (LFPR) move upward anew since July 2019 survey period. The latest LFPR at 64.4 percent is three percentage points higher than the record three months ago and 2.2 percentage points above the lowest LPFR recorded in January 2019. So far, this is the highest LFPR record for the past year.          

In terms of unemployment rate, the latest rate captured in the January 2020 LFS at 4.0 percent is 14.2 percent higher than the record in October 2019 and 29.0 percent above the report a year ago. Further, the latest unemployment rate is just behind the highest unemployment rate record in July 2019, thus, resulting spiked in terms of unemployed persons in January 2020. In the latest count, unemployed persons in the region reached 62 thousand in January 2020, about 10.7 percent increase from the record of 56 thousand in October 2019 or about 6 thousand people added to the pool of unemployed after a period of three months. This is the second time in a row during a year that unemployed persons in the region swelled to more than sixty thousand. Moreover, the latest count of unemployed persons in the region is just three thousand persons away from the highest record established in July 2019 estimated at 65 thousand.       

Finally, the LFS also provides the latest indicator on underemployment across regions in the country. In January 2020, underemployment rate in Cagayan Valley rose anew after it went down to all time low in the past five survey periods. The latest underemployment rate at 16.3 percent is about 3.5 percentage points higher than the recorded rate three months ago or about 27.3 percent increase. Similarly, the latest rate is 0.8 percentage points higher than the underemployment rate reported in a year ago or about 5.2 percent increment. Corollary, underemployed persons in the region climbed again at more than two hundred thousand after it went down in October 2019. Persons with work or job but worked less than forty hours per week in the region is now counted at 244 thousand, about fifty thousand above the October 2019 level and about twenty thousand higher than the report a year ago. The only good thing with the latest LFS report is that the latest count, both the underemployment rate and the underemployed persons in the region, did not surpassed the April 2019 indicator which posted an underemployment rate of 4.2 percent and about 276 thousand underemployed persons in Cagayan Valley.          


Regional Director

Concepts, Definitions and Explanations

Employment Status Concepts

Population 15 Years Old and Over

This refers to number of population 15 years old and over excluding overseas workers.  Overseas workers are excluded in the estimation of the size of working population (population aged 15 years and over) since the data on their economic characteristics are not collected because they are not considered part of the labor force in the country.

In the Labor Force or Economically Active Population

This refers to persons 15 years old and over who are either employed or unemployed in accordance with the definitions described as follows.


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:


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.


Unemployed persons include all those who, during the reference period, are 15 years old and over as of their last birthday and reported as:

a) Without work, i.e., had no job or business during the reference period; and

 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 not seeking work due to the following reasons: (1) tired 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.

Persons Not in the Labor Force

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, disabled, or retired persons.