The Labor Force Survey (LFS) is a nationwide survey of households conducted quarterly to gather data on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population. It is primarily geared towards the estimation of the levels of employment and unemployment in the country. One of the objectives of the Labor Force Survey is 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 of the country, as a whole, and for the 17 administrative regions.
The LFS covers a nationwide sample of about 50,000 sample households deemed sufficient to provide more precise and reliable estimates at the national and regional levels only.
The survey involves the collection of data on demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population in general. The reporting unit is the household which means that statistics emanating from this survey refers to the characteristics of the population residing in private households. Persons who belongs to the institutional population are not within the scope of the survey.
Kind of data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of analysis
Individual or Person
Persons 15 years old and over
Version 1.0 Final data, for public use.
Labor Statistics, employment status
in the labor force
persons not in thelabor force
class of worker
nature of employment
basic pay per day
normal working hours per day
basis of payment
total hours worked
availability for work
wanting more hours of work
reasons why worked more than 48 hours
The LFS 2009 used the 2003 Master Sample considers the country's 17 regions as defined in EO 36 and 131 as its sampling domain.
A domain is referred to as a subdivision of the country in which estimates with adequate level of precision is generated. It must be
noted that while there is demand for data at the provincial and to some extent municipal and barangay levels, these were not
treated as domain because of its large number and the large resource requirement that goes along with it.
The sample was selected to allow separate estimates for the national level, and regional levels only (17 administrative regions).
National Capital Region (NCR)
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
Region I - Ilocos Region
Region II - Cagayan Valley
Region III - Central Luzon
Region IV-A - CALABARZON
Region IV-B - MIMAROPA
Region V - Bicol Region
Region VI - Western Visayas
Region VII - Central Visayas
Region VIII - Eastern Visayas
Region IX - Zamboanga Peninsula
Region X - Northern Mindanao
Region XI - Davao Region
Region XII - SOCCSKSARGEN
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
Unit of analysis
Individual or Person
Persons 15 years old and over
The survey covered all household members of the sample households.
Producers and sponsors
National Statistical Coordination Board
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.
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.
The response rates for LFS 2009 are the following: January round is 96.0%, April round is 95.8%, July round is 95.9%, October round is 95.8% . The response rate is the ratio of the total responding households to the total number of eligible households. Eligible households include those who were completely interviewed, refused to be interviewed or were temporarily away or not at home or on vacation during the survey round.
"See external resources for the weighting procedure".
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
Data collection supervision
The Regional Directors (RDs) and Provincial Statistics Officers (PSOs) had supervised during the field operation. They were provided seven mandays each for supervision inclusive of travel time. The Regional Statistician or his/her designated alternate who served as Regional Focal Person for the LFS 2009 have seven days of supervision inclusive of travel time. He/She is expected to supervise during the first two weeks of data collection in order that he/she be able to immediately correct any error, and provides solution to problems encountered by interviewers.
The RD, PSO and Regional Statistician (Regional Focal person) coordinated with each other in planning their field supervision so that they will not supervise the same sample EAs. While in the sample areas, the RDs, PSOs, Regional Statistician or his/her designated alternate serving as the Regional Focal Person carried out the following:
1. observation of interviews to ensure that these are properly carried out;
2. scrutiny of accomplished questionnaires to ascertain completeness and consistency of entries; and
3. discussion with the interviewer of the errors committed during the interview and in filling out the questionnaire,
and of corrections to be made.
The Provincial Supervisor (PS) had closely supervised the SRs throughout the whole duration of the survey. He/she kept the PSO informed of the progress of the fieldwork. He/she planned an efficient schedule of fieldwork such that he/she is able to observe the conduct of interview of all interviewers during the first 10 days of data collection. This was to ensure that errors committed by interviewers were immediately corrected; hence errors was not repeated in succeeding interviews. As PS, he/she had to see to it
that the necessary preparation before the fieldwork was done, and that expected tasks during and after the fieldwork are properly carried out. His/her responsibilities include the following:
a. attended the provincial briefing;
b. prepared the work plan and strategies for field work and discussed these with the PSO;
c. planned an efficient schedule for his/her fieldwork ensuring that he/she was able to observe the interview, and review
the accomplished questionnaires of all the interviewers within the first 10 days of data collection;
d. while in the sample area, carefully scrutinized and edited questionnaires and discussed with the interviewers the errors
observed in the accomplished questionnaires and the corresponding corrections;
e. observed interviewers and discusses with them any error committed in asking questions or in recording responses
in the questionnaire, and the corresponding solutions to correct these errors;
f. reported to the PSO the status regarding the fieldwork and problems that needs action or solution by the PSO;
g. collected questionnaires from a completed EA and transmits these to the PO; and
h. prepared narrative report on the conduct of the LFS in his/her province.
The Assistant Provincial Supervisor (APS) also carried out the fieldwork for the whole duration of the survey. He/she assisted
the PS in the editing of the questionnaires while in the sample area. He/she assisted the PS to carry out a 100 percent review
of the accomplished forms. The PS and the APS recorded all observed errors in the questionnaires using the 2013 LFS/APIS
Form 3 - Field Editing Form.
Observed errors during interview was recorded using the Supervisor's Observation Form. Spot checking and conduct of re-interview,
the strategies for identifying interviewers who violate survey protocols, was conducted if the need arises.
The information in the Field Editing Form and in the Observation Form that the PSO, Provincial Supervisor, and Assistant Provincial Supervisor had recorded was summarized by the Provincial Supervisor or the Assistant Provincial Supervisor, and was submitted to the HSD thru email address firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>, on or before 15 days after the enumeration.
The Regional Focal Person prepared a similar summary report using the information in the Field Editing Form and Observation Form
he/she and the RD had recorded, and submitted it to HSD thru email on or before one month after the enumeration.
An evaluation of the updated MS Form 6 for various surveys submitted to the CO reveals that the number of sample vacant housing units (VHU), and sample households who had permanently moved out of the sample housing unit at the time of interview, had been increasing since 2003. While in the sample area, the PSO, Regional Focal Person, and Provincial Supervisor and Assistant Provincial Supervisor had to check the veracity of these cases. Any important finding of such field verification was included in their narrative report. The duties and responsibilities of each supervisor are discussed in the EN's manual.
ISH FORM 2 (LFS questionnaire) is a four-page, forty four-column questionnaire that is being used in the quarterly rounds of the Labor Force Survey nationwide. This questionnaire gathers data on the demographic and economic characteristics of the population.
On the first page of the questionnaire, the particulars about the geographic location, design codes and household auxiliary information of the sample household that is being interviewed are to be recorded. Certifications by the enumerator and his supervisor regarding the manner by which the data are collected are likewise to be made on this page.
The inside pages of the questionnaire contain the items to be determined about each member of the sample household. Columns 2 to 11 are for the demographic characteristics; columns 2 to 7A are to be ascertained of all members of the household regardless of age. Columns 8 to 9 are asked for members 5 years old and over, while column 10 is asked for members 5 to 24 years old, column 11, for 15 years old and over, while columns 12 to 16 are asked for members 5 years old and over. Items 18 to 44 on the other hand, are the series of items that will be asked of all the members 15 years old and over to determine their labor force and employment characteristics.
Most of the questions have pre-coded responses. The possible answers with their corresponding codes are printed at the bottom of the page for easy reference. Only the appropriate codes need to be entered in the cells.
Other items, however, require write-in entries such as column 14 (primary occupation) and column 16 (kind of business/industry), etc. For such items, it is required that the enumerator describes the primary occupation or kind of business/industry.
The ISH Form 2 is provided as Technical Documents.
National Statistics Office
Verification and review of questionnaires
The SRs were expected to have verified the completeness of the questionnaires, correctness of the entries, consistency of the entries in the different related items, and the correctness of the codes that were entered in the boxes before the questionnaires were submitted to the Assistant Provincial Supervisor or the Provincial Supervisor. Use the list of sample barangays/EAs provided for coding the region, provinces, municipalities and barangays.
The Assistant Provincial Supervisor or the Provincial Supervisor. upon receipt of the questionnaires reviewed the forms and code the responses for occupation and kind of industry. The Provincial Staff (who attended the 2nd level training) helped in the coding of the responses for occupation and industry. The four-digit code of PSIC and PSOC was used in coding the write-in entries of industry and occupation respectively..
SRs assigned at the provincial capitals submitted the accomplished questionnaires to the Provincial Office as soon as a sample barangay was completely enumerated and reviewed. This was to enable the Provincial Staff to start the manual processing of the questionnaires even at a time when the enumeration was still going on.
A general review of the questionnaires was done at the provincial offices. The Provincial Staff made sure that each sample households in the LFS had the corresponding ISH Form 2.
Manual processing is done at the Provincial Office (PO) to ensure that the questionnaires are free of errors before these were submitted for data entry. This is the general review of the questionnaires. This process includes the folioing of the questionnaires, completeness and consistency checking of the responses, editing and coding of responses. All incomplete, inconsistent, and unreasonable entries found in the questionnaires during the manual processing will be verified in the field and rectified.
Part of the manual processing activity at the PO is checking the consistency of information written in the LFS questionnaire and in the updated MS Form 6. Careful manual matching of geographic and household identification (ID) codes, name of the household head, address of the housing unit, and the final result of interview of the household in the LFS questionnaire and in MS Form 6 was carried out.
Data encoding of the LFS questionnaires shall be done at the POs. The name of the household head, specific vocational/technical
course completed by the household member, and write-in entries in selected items classified under the "others specify" category was encoded. Also, the description for occupation, industry and class of worker of household members will be encoded. This facilitated the verification of inconsistent entries between the occupation and industry codes.
Matching of LFS Data File with the Updated MS Form 6 Data File
The automated matching of the LFS data files with the updated MS Form 6 data files was done at the Regional Office (RO). It has been observed in the previous rounds of LFS that for some households, the interview status reported in the MS Form 6 is different from the interview status reported in the LFS questionnaire. This problem was eliminated through a careful manual matching at PO and, subsequently, automated matching at RO of information recorded in both LFS questionnaire and MS Form 6 such as geographic ID, household ID, name of household head, address of the housing unit and the final interview status of the household. With the two series of matching, occurrence of missing LFS and SOF questionnaires was avoided.
Authorization to use this data is granted only to the client or data user and persons within its organization, if applicable. Under no circumstances shall the client reproduce, distribute, sell or lend the entire data or parts thereof to any other data user apart from himself or that of authorized employees in his organization. The NSO shall hold the data user fully responsible for safeguarding the data from any unauthorized access or use.
Before being granted access to the dataset, all users have to formally agree:
1. To make no copies of any files or portions of files to which s/he is granted access except those authorized by the data depositor.
2. Not to use any technique in an attempt to learn the identity of any person, establishment, or sampling unit not identified on public use data files.
3. To hold in strictest confidence the identification of any establishment or individual that may be inadvertently revealed in any documents or discussion, or analysis. Such inadvertent identification revealed in her/his analysis will be immediately brought to the attention of the data depositor.
Any report, paper or similar articles, whether published or not, emanating from the use of this data shall give appropriate acknowledgement as suggested herein, "(Title of Census/Survey, version number and date), National Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines", as the source of basic data. The data user or client is encouraged to provide NSO with a copy of such report, paper or article. It is understood that unless expressly allowed by the client, such report, paper or article shall not be used for any purpose other than monitoring.
Disclaimer and copyrights
The PSA gives no warranty that the data are free from errors. Hence, the PSA shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage as a result of the client's manipulation or tabulation of the data.
The data user acknowledges that any available intellectual property rights, including copyright in the data are owned by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Chief, Income and Employment Statistics Division
Chief, Knowledge Management and Coordination Division