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Jobs rise, unions dip in 2020 — PSA

Employment in enterprises employing at least 20 workers rose as of June 2020, while unionized establishments decreased, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Friday.

Data from the 2019/2020 Integrated Survey on Labor and Employment (ISLE) released on Friday showed total jobs went up by 4.8% to 5.322 million in establishments with 20 or more employees in end-June 2020 from 5.077 million in end-June 2018.

These enterprises with at least 20 workers reached 34,543 as of June 2020.

By sector, the bulk (70.6%) or a total of 3.755 million was employed under the services sector during the period, 9.5% higher than 3.428 million previously.

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

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).

Nearly nine out 10 (86.6%) of employed persons as of June 2020 were rank-and-file workers. Supervisors/foremen accounted for 7.9%, while managers/executives comprised 4.7% of the total. Owners working for their own companies and unpaid family members, meanwhile, took 0.6% share.

About 44% of the total employed during the period were female.

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

Almost half (42.6%) of the total establishments outsourced the jobs from manpower agencies.

Electricity, gas, steam, air-conditioning supply topped the sectors with the highest proportion of establishments with agency hired workers. Manufacturing followed with 57.3%, while activities of human health and social work as well as mining and quarrying both accounted for 47.9% each.

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

Services sectors logged the highest number of job openings at 65.6%, while industry reported 34% share of total vacancies. Agriculture accounted for 0.4% of the total.

“Majority or 69.4% of the job vacancies were easy-to-fill meaning that establishments had no difficulties during recruitment/filling-up the positions,” the PSA said.

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


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

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

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

“By employment size, large establishments employing 200 and more workers were more unionized with 12.6% compared to establishments with smaller employment sizes,” the PSA said.

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

A union is any registered group or employees’ association that exists for the purpose of collective bargaining or dealing with employers concerning terms and conditions of employment.

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

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

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


A separate press release showed total annual labor cost surged by 55.9% to P1.661 trillion in 2019 from P1.066 trillion in 2013 in establishments employing at least 20 workers.

Administrative and support service activities recorded the highest share of total labor cost 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 major component of the total labor cost was direct wages and salaries, which accounted for 77.6% of the total. Direct wages and salaries 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 time not worked got 0.6% share or P10.322 billion.

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

Average share of labor cost to the total cost of establishments in operating their businesses was estimated at 26.9%.

On a per-employee basis, total labor cost was estimated to amount to P304,691 in 2019.

Financial and insurance activities recorded the highest labor cost per employee with P763,561. It was followed by electricity, gas, steam, and air-conditioning supply (P526,401), water supply; sewerage waste management and remediation 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 logged the lowest annual labor cost at P197,588.

Formerly Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics Integrated Survey, ISLE is a nationwide survey of establishments employing at least 20 workers. It consists of at least three modules covering employment, work conditions, and industrial relations. — A. O. A. Tirona

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