Employment Situation in October 2020 in Bicol Region

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
More than half of the population 15 years old and over are in the labor force
Labor force participation rate (LFPR) was estimated at 59.1% in October 2020. This accounted for 2.3 million of the estimated 3.9 million Filipinos 15 years old and over in Bicol Region who were either employed or unemployed in October 2020. 
Employment rate registers at 91.8 percent 
The total number of employed persons was reported at 2.1 million of the estimated 2.3 million Filipinos in the labor force in October 2020. The employment rate or the proportion of employed persons to the total labor force was estimated at 91.8 percent.
More males than females among the employed persons
Of the estimated 2.1 million employed persons in October 2020 in Bicol Region, 64.2 percent or 64 in every 100 employed Filipinos were males and 35.8 percent or 36 in every 100 employed Filipinos were females.
Almost half of employed persons are in the services sector
By broad industry group, the services sector remained as the dominant employment hub absorbing 49.5% of the 2.1 million employed Filipinos in October 2020.  The same sector employed 52.3% of the total employed in October 2019. 
In the agriculture sector, the combined share of agriculture, forestry, and hunting and fishing subsectors was reorded at 32.5% in October 2020, while it was registered at 30.6% in October 2019. Moreover, the share of the industry sector to total employment was 18.0% in October 2020 and 17.1% in October 2019. 
Across subsectors, those engaged in agriculture, forestry, and hunting comprised the largest percent share at 25.7% of the total employed Filipinos in October 2020. This was followed by those engaged in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles at 20.6%. 
Figure 1. Percent Distribution of Employed Persons by Major Industry Group, Bicol Region: October 2020 and October 2019

Almost one-third of employed persons are in elementary occupations

Across occupation groups, workers in elementary occupations such as domestic helpers, street vendors, and building cleaners remained the largest group at 31.3% of the total employed population in October 2020 from 29.4% in the same period a year ago. Skilled agricultural, forestry, and fishery workers comprised the second largest occupation group at 18.5%, followed by service and sales workers which was accounted at 17.6%.

Majority of employed persons are wage and salary workers

Employed persons fall into any of these categories: (1) wage and salary workers, (2) self-employed workers without any paid employee, (3) employers in own family-operated farm or business, and (4) unpaid family workers.

Wage and salary workers are those who work for private households, private establishments, government or government-controlled corporations, and those who work with pay in own family-operated farm or business. In October 2020, 55.1% of the total employed were wage and salary workers, with those working in private establishments consistently accounted for the largest share at 40.0% while working in government and government-controlled corporations accounted for 11.1% of the total employed persons. The share of self-employed workers without any paid employee in total employed in October 2020 was at 33.3%; which was slightly higher than October 2019 at 33.7%.


Majority of employed persons work full-time

Employed workers are classified as either full-time or part-time workers. Full-time workers are those who work for 40 hours or more while part-time workers work for less than         40 hours during the reference week. Of the total employed workers in October 2020, full-time workers comprised 51.6%, a decrease from 53.7% in October 2019. In October 2020, part-time workers comprised 45.8% of the total employed, which was an increase from 44.0% percent in October 2019. On average, in October 2020, workers worked for 36.4 hours per week, a drop from the average of 37.2 hours in October 2019.

Table 1. Percent Distribution of Employed Persons by Total Hours Worked:
October 2020



Bicol Region


October 2020

Number (in thousands)




Did Not Work


Under 20






40 and over


Mean Hours Worked


Unemployment rate reaches 8.2 percent

In October 2020, the number of unemployed persons was 191 thousand resulting to an unemployment rate of 8.2%. Bicol Region exhibited a lower unemployment rate than the national average of 8.7%.

Majority of persons not in the labor force were women

In October 2020, about 1.6 million or 40.9% of the total population 15 years and over were not in the labor force. These include housewives, students, persons with disability, and those who have retired from their employment. Majority (67.7%) of this were females, while the rest (32.3%) were males.

Underemployment rate registers at 29.1 percent

Underemployed persons are employed persons who express the desire to have additional job, or have a new job with longer working hours. Underemployed persons were estimated at 29.1% of the total employed persons, which can be translated to 623.6 thousand in October 2020.



Bicol Region



October 2020


October 2019

Population 15 years and over (in ‘000)



Labor Force (in ‘000)

Labor Force Participation Rate (%)





Employment (in ‘000)

Employment Rate (%)





Unemployment (in ‘000)

Unemployment Rate (%)





Underemployment (in ‘000)

Underemployment Rate (%)





  1. The labor force participation rate (LFPR) among Filipinos15 years and older in Bicol is estimated at 59.1% in October 2020. This translates to 2.3 million Filipinos in the labor force.
  2. Employment rate in October 2020 was recorded at 91.8%, equivalent to 2.1 million total employed persons.
  3. Among the major industry, almost half (49.5%) of the total employed were in Services, 32.5% were in Agriculture, and 18.0% were in Industry.
  4. Among the employed persons, workers engaged in elementary occupations comprised the largest share, accounting to 31.3% of the total employed population.
  5. Unemployment rate was estimated at 8.2%, which translates to 191 thousand total unemployed Filipinos in Bicol.
  6. Underemployed persons were estimated at 29.1% of the total employed persons. This can be translated to 624 thousand underemployed in Bicol in October 2020.