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Report of The Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2021

​The Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS), Ministry of Finance and Economy has released the Report of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2021 based on the final data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2021 that was conducted simultaneously with the Third Stage of the Population and Housing Census (BPP) 2021 from 1 to 31 December 2021. The main objective of LFS 2021 is to collect latest information on size, structure, distribution and characteristics of the labour force, employment, unemployment and other economic characteristics of the population, which will be used to assist in the planning, research, policy-making and management concerning the labour force.


The survey covered about 3,200 selected households throughout the country using systematic sampling method. Data obtained from the selected households were extrapolated according to the sampling weights and then calibrated to represent the total population living in regular households in Brunei Darussalam. Results from LFS 2021 have shown that there was a total of about 76,600 households and 350,300 persons aged 15 years and over.




Among the main findings included in the report are as follows:


Labour force participation rate – LFPR 3


Labour force participation rate (LFPR) showing a decrease to 63.8 per cent in 2021 from 65.5 per cent in 2020 to. This is due to a decrease in the number of unemployed among locals who have found employment and also an increase in the Outside Labour Force.



Employed population


The employed population increased by 0.6 per cent in 2021 which is 212,400 persons, compared to 211,100 persons in 2020. Among these increases is due to local workers have filled jobs in several industrial sectors that were previously dominated by non-local workers;

Out of the total, local workers accounted for the largest share of 71.0 per cent (150,800 persons), while 29.0 per cent (61,600 persons) were non-local workers;

About 92.1 per cent (195,500 persons) were employees, while those who worked as own-account workers accounted for 4.7 per cent (10,100 persons);

A total of 67,000 persons (31.5 per cent) were employed in the government sector which includes activities of public administration and government services such as education, health, electricity and water services. Meanwhile, around 145,400 persons (68.5 per cent) were employed in the private sector;

By type of occupation, Service and Sales Workers accounted for the highest share of 21.8 per cent (46,200 persons);

The average monthly income from all jobs in 2021 was BND1,536 per employed person compared to BND1,755 in 2020. The local workers earned a higher income of BND1,710, while the non-local workers earned BND1,110 per month on average. Meanwhile the median income from employment was BND880 compared to BND850 in 2020. The median income for local and non-local workers was BND1,010 and BND600 repectively;

The average hours worked in the main job increased to 47.1 hours in a week from 44.4 hours in a week in 2020.



Unemployed population


In year 2021, total number of unemployed was around 10,956 persons compared to 16,630 persons in 2020. This resulted in a decrease of the unemployment rate from 7.3 per cent to 4.9 per cent in 2020, especially among local population (10,800 persons or atau 98.6 per cent).

The decrease is due likely due to local jobseekers who have filled jobs in several industrial sectors that were previously dominated foreign workers. The construction industry showed the most significant increase in local workers followed by the transportation and storage, information and communication industry, service activities and others.

The decrease in the number of unemployed persons is also due to the increased in the population outside labour force, especially those who have further their studies, undergone training coursese and have family/household responsibilities.



Outside the Labour Force population


The number of persons outside labour force increased by 6.1 per cent, from 119,700 persons in 2020 to 127,000 persons in 2021.

Consisting of female population at 58.6 per cent, local population at 90.5 per cent, youth aged 15 to 24 years at 34.3 per cent and those with highest education attained with secondary level at 66.6 per cent.

Out of the 127,000 persons in outside labour force, there were 93.0 per cent those who are not actively looking for job and are not ready to work because they are still studying, undergoing training courses, have family/household responsibilities, or have retired.

Meanwhile, there were 7.0 per cent are those who are categorized as potential labour force that is either those who are actively looking for job but not available or those who are not actively looking for job but available.



A few additional questions related to the impact of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic have been included in the LFS 2021 questionnaire, as recommended by the ILO for LFS 2020 before. The situation of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic has had an impact on the economic activities of the population in this country, whether for the working population or the unemployed population, among others as follows:


About 40.0 per cent (84,900 persons) of the total employed population has experienced changes in their working conditions such as changes in the total working hours that is worked less hours than usual, and changes of work place or location or working from home;

For the unemployed in 2021, about 2.6 per cent or 300 persons were among those who had jobs in 2020, but were no longer working in 2021. Of these 300 persons, 67.5 per cent (195 persons) had loss of paid employment or temporary employment had ended, 13.3 per cent (38 persons) temporary closure of facilities and premises, 11.2 per cent (32 persons) had to quit or to take leave because of injury, illness or quarantine and others; and 7.9 per cent (23 persons) was on temporary leave or waiting for a callback from employer.



The labour force statistics obtained from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) year 2017 to 2020 are also revised based on the final data of the Population and Housing Census (BPP) 2021 and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2021. This information will be published in the Brunei Darussalam Statistical Yearbook (BDSYB) 2021.


JPES would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the selected households in LFS 2021 for their cooperation throughout the survey period.


The Report of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2021 is available from JPES’s website. For any enquiries on this matter, please refer to JPES by contacting the lines or browsing through the website below:



Source: Ministry of Finance Brunei Darussalam