First published on thepoc.net
Truth be told, bleak employment prospects do not match the high hopes of around half a million new graduates who are set to enter the labor force this year.
Based on the government’s job database Phil-job.net as of February, there are only around 62,156 job vacancies in the country and abroad awaiting new graduates. Meanwhile, job portals JobsDB.com and Jobstreet.com have domestic and foreign job offerings of 11,367 and 34,334 respectively. Assuming the three job listings are mutually exclusive, there are only 107,000 jobs awaiting Batch 2011.
The estimated number of job vacancies is dwarfed by the estimated 500,000 new graduates looking for work, plus the 544,000 old graduates who are unemployed based on the October 2010 Labor Force Survey. Based on these figures, only 1 out of 10 old and new graduates may find work this summer.
The situation gets even worse as thousands of overseas Filipino workers from the Middle East and other regions return home without jobs. Repatriated OFWs from strife-torn Libya alone number at around 9,000 as of March according to DOLE. So far, the government has only pledged livelihood assistance to those who are interested aside from redeployment of a handful of displaced workers.
Despite this glaring employment problem, the labor department is optimistic as it said that the current job vacancies “boost the chance of jobseekers, together with graduating college students, to land employment this summer.”
It appears though that the government needs to take a second look at its own employment statistics.
Last January, the country’s unemployment rate grew to 7.4 percent as nearly 100,000 more Filipinos were added to the army of unemployed. Half of the estimated 2.9 million unemployed were in the age group of 15-24, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO). This indicates that most of the country’s graduates are joining the unemployed year-on-year.
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino urged the President to improve the government’s job plan for the new graduates more than launching seminars and career guidance.