The first labor force survey, named the Philippine Statistical Survey of Households (PSSH) was conducted in May 1956. The employment concepts, questionnaire design and other characteristics of the survey, including the title, have evolved through the years. Currently, the LFS is conducted on a quarterly basis.
The Labor Force Survey (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, including provinces and key cities.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
For All Persons
- Relationship to the Household Head
- Age as of Last Birthday
- Marital Status
- Highest Grade Completed
For Employed Persons
- Main Activity/Usual Occupation During the Past Twelve Months
- Primary Occupation
- Kind of Industry/Business
- Class of Worker
- Nature of Employment
- Normal Working Hours Per Day During the Past Week
- Total Hours Worked During the Past Week
- Whether Wanting More Hours of Work
For Persons Who Had No Job/Business
- Job Search Method
- Number of Weeks Looking for Work
Individuals 15 years and over.
Producers and sponsors
Philippine Statistics Authority
Government of the Philippines
The sampling design of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) uses the sampling design of the 2003 Master Sample (MS) for Household Surveys that started July 2003.
As in most household surveys, the 2003 MS used an area sample design. The Enumeration Area Reference File (EARF) of the 2000 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) was utilized as sampling frame. The EARF contains the number of households by enumeration area (EA) in each barangay. This frame was used to form the primary sampling units (PSUs). With consideration of the period for which the 2003 MS will be in use, the PSUs were formed/defined as a barangay or a combination of barangays with at least 500 households.
Startification involves the division of the entire population into non-overlapping subgroups called starta. Prior to sample selection, the PSUs in each domain were stratified as follows:
1) All large PSUs were treated as separate strata and were referred to as certainty selections (self-representing PSUs). A PSU was considered large if it has a large probability of selection.
2) All other PSUs were then stratified by province, highly urbanized city (HUC) and independent component city (ICC).
3) Within each province/HUC/ICC, the PSUs were further stratified or grouped with respect to some socio-economic variables that were related to poverty incidence. These variables were: (a) the proportion of strongly built houses (PSTRONG); (b) an indication of the proportion of households engaged in agriculture (AGRI); and (c) the per-capita income (PERCAPITA).
To have some control over the subsample size, the PSUs were selected with probability proportional to some estimated measure of size. The size measure refers to the total number of households from the 2000 CPH. Because of the wide variation in PSU sizes, PSUs with selection probabilities greater than 1 were identified and were included in the sample as certainty selections.
At the second stage, enumeration areas (EAs) were selected within sampled PSUs, and at the third stage, housing units were selected within sampled EAs. Generally, all households in sampled housing units were enumerated, except for few cases when the number of households in a housing unit exceeds three. In which case, a sample of three households in a sampled housing unit was selected at random with equal probability.
An EA is defined as an area with discernable boundaries within barangays, consisting of about 150 contiguous households. These EAs were identified during the 2000 CPH. A housing unit is a structurally separate and independent place of abode which, by the way it has been constructed, converted, or arranged, is intended for habitation by a household
The 2003 Master Sample consist of a sample of 2,835 PSUs of which 330 were certainty PSUs and 2,505 were non certainty PSUs. The number of households for the 2000 CPH was used as measure of size. The entire MS was divided into four sub-samples or independent replicates, such as a quarter sample contains one fourth of the PSUs found in one replicate; a half-sample contains one-half of the PSUs in two replicates. Thus, the survey covers a nationwide sample of about 51,000 households deemed sufficient to measure the levels of employment and unemployment at the national and regional levels.
Strategy for non-response
Replacement of sample households within the sample housing units is allowed only if the listed sample households had moved out of the housing unit. Replacement should be the household currently residing in the sample housing unit previously occupied by the original sample.
Deviations from the Sample Design
Starting 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. This is to adopt the regional grouping under 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.
Calculation of Basic Weights:
Following a standard approach, the weights to be used in analyzing surveys based on the 2003 MS are developed in three stages.
First, base weights are computed to compensate for the unequal selection probabilities in the sample design.
Second, the base weights are adjusted to compensate for unit non-response.
Third , the non-response adjusted weights are further adjusted to make some weighted sample distributions to conform to some known population totals.
Final Survey Weight
The final survey weight assigned to each responding unit is computed as the product of the base weight, the non-response adjustment, and the population weighting adjustment. The final weights should be used in all analyses to produce valid estimates of population parameters.
More detailed explanation on the estimation procedure is provided in the Technical Documents.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Office of the National Statistician
Philippine Statistics Authority
Bureau of Labour and Employment Statistics (BLES)
Philippine Statistics Authority
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Philippine Statistics Authority. Philippines Labour Force Survey 2012, Fourth Quarter. Ref.PHL_2012_QLFS-Q4_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [URL] on [date].
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
Regional Economic and Social Analysis Unit/ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
International Labour Organization
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (May 2016)
Version 02 (September 2016): Edited version based on Version 01 DDI (DDI_PHL_2012_LFS-Q4_v01_M) that was done by International Labour Organisation.