Jobs Rise, Unions Fall in 2020 – PSA

Employment in businesses employing at least 20 workers rose from June 2020, while unionization fell, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Friday.

Data from the 2019/2020 Integrated Survey on Labor and Employment (ISLE) released on Friday showed that the total number of jobs rose by 4.8% to 5.322 million in companies with 20 or more employees at the end of June 2020 from 5.077 million at the end of June 2018.

These companies with at least 20 employees reached 34,543 in June 2020.

Divided by sector, the majority (70.6%) or a total of 3.755 million employed in the service sector in the period, 9.5% higher than previously 3.428 million

Total employment in the manufacturing sector fell 5.5% to 1.412 million in June 2020 from 1.495 million in June 2018, while agriculture, forestry and fishing logged 153,761 workers, down 0.4% from 154,421.

Broken down by industry-specific sectors, administrative and support services employed the most (1,451 million), accounting for 27.3% of the total. It was followed by manufacturing (19% share or 1.010 million) and wholesale and retail trade (14.4% share or 763,765).

Almost nine out of 10 (86.6%) of those employed in June 2020 were ordinary workers. Foremen/foremen made up 7.9%, while managers/directors made up 4.7% of the total. Owners working for their own businesses and unpaid family members, meanwhile, took a 0.6% share.

Around 44% of the total employed in the period were women.

Meanwhile, in June 2020, more than a quarter (27.4%) of all workers were paid the exact minimum wage. The proportion of workers under alternative working arrangements was 10.9%, while evening or graveyard shift workers accounted for 7.4%. Persons with disabilities contributed a share of 0.3%.

Almost half (42.6%) of the total companies outsourced the jobs from employment agencies.

Electricity, gas, steam, air conditioning topped the sectors with the highest proportion of companies with temporary workers. Manufacturing followed with 57.3%, while activities within health and social work and mining and quarrying both accounted for 47.9% each.

Across all industries, a total of 315,134 job vacancies were available from July 2019 to June 2020.

Service sectors had the highest number of job openings at 65.6%, while manufacturing reported a 34% share of total vacancies. Agriculture accounted for 0.4% of the total.

“The majority or 69.4% of the vacancies were easy to fill, which means that the companies did not face any problems during the recruitment/filling of the positions,” PSA said.

The PSA added that 30.6% vacancies were considered difficult to fill due to a lack or few applicants; lack of years of experience, skill or license; applicants’ expectation of high salary and other reasons.


The PSA’s ISLE results showed that only 4.2% (1,464) of businesses with 20 or more workers had registered unions in 2020.

This was 2.1 percentage points lower than the 6.3% share in 2018 and the lowest since the 5.8% share in 2014, PSA said.

Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning recorded the highest proportion of unionized businesses at 26.9%, followed by water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (14.9%) and manufacturing (11.2%).

“In terms of employment size, large firms employing 200 and more workers were more unionized by 12.6% compared to firms with smaller employment sizes,” PSA said.

Union density—the share of union membership of total salaried employees—fell to 6% in 2020 from 7% in 2018. This translated to 316,458 unionized workers out of the 5.292 million salaried employees.

A trade union is any registered group or employee association that exists for the purpose of collective bargaining or dealing with employers over terms of employment.

High union densities were recorded in the following industries: electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (24.9%); mining and quarrying (24.4%); water supply; sewerage, waste management and sanitation (22%); and arts, entertainment and recreation (20.1%).

Meanwhile, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) coverage rate — the share of CBA-covered employees in relation to total salaried employees — fell to 6.3% from 7.1% in 2018. This equated to 333,776 CBA-covered employees of the total of 5.292 million paid employees in 2020.

CBA refers to a negotiated contract between a legal labor organization and the employer regarding wages, hours and other terms of employment in a bargaining unit, including mandatory provisions for grievance and arbitration machinery.


A separate press release showed that total annual labor costs rose 55.9% to P1.661 trillion in 2019 from P1.066 trillion in 2013 in businesses employing at least 20 workers.

Administrative and support service activities recorded the highest share of total labor costs at 21.4% or P356.374 billion. in 2019. It was followed by manufacturing (18.5% or P306.942 billion) and financial and insurance activities (15.7% or P260.847). billion).

A significant part of the total labor costs were direct wages, which made up 77.6% of the total wages. Direct wages amounted to P1.289 trillion in 2019.

Social security expenditures, meanwhile, accounted for 10.6% or P176.273 billion. Bonuses and gratuities accounted for 9.5% or P157.902 billion, while remuneration for non-worked time got a 0.6% share or P10.322 billion.

Other components were other labor costs (0.5% or P8.969 billion); worker housing financed by employers (0.4% or P7.182 billion); cost or training (0.3% or P5.122 billion); and cost of welfare benefits (0.3% or P4.381 billion).

The average share of labor costs in relation to the total costs of enterprises in the operation of their enterprises was estimated at 26.9%.

On a per employee basis, total labor costs were estimated to amount to P304,691 in 2019.

Financial and insurance activities registered the highest labor costs per employed with P763,561. It was followed by electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (P526,401), water supply; sewage waste management and treatment activities (P435,457); information and communication (P410,285); and repair of computers and personal and household goods; other personal service activities (P407.027).

Transportation and storage recorded the lowest annual labor cost at P197,588.

Formerly the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics Integrated Survey, the ISLE is a nationwide survey of businesses employing at least 20 workers. It consists of at least three modules covering employment, working conditions and working conditions. — AOA Tirona

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