Low vacancy may hinder job aspirations of some fresh college graduates–DOLE


Fresh graduates may have a hard time applying for jobs due to low vacancies, Labor and Employment Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma revealed on Wednesday.

“Based on the latest survey released by the PSA [Philippine Statistics Authority], the number of unemployed Filipinos declined. However, the number of additional jobs available will not be enough to accommodate the demand of the new entrants,” Laguesma said in Filipino in a televised interview on Wednesday.

PSA data showed unemployed workers reached 2.47 million in February 2023, down by 651,000 from the 3.13 million recorded last February 2022.

In terms of magnitude, PSA said the number of employed persons in February 2023 was estimated at 48.8 million, higher by 3.32 million from the 45.48 million employed persons reported in February 2022.

PSA said the labor force participation rate in February 2023 was registered at 66.6 percent or 51.27 million individuals who were either employed or unemployed out of the 77 million Filipinos aged 15 years and over.

For his part, Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. explained the “order of priority” in hiring job applicants.

“Alam mo kasi iyong sa situation natin na marami ang naghahanap ng trabaho kaysa sa available na trabaho, it is only natural na iyong mga nagha-hire ay mamimili, pipiliin nila, ipalagay nila in the order of priorities ano,” Ortiz-Luis said in a televised interview on Wednesday.

“So, kung hindi naman masyadong malaking kakulangan iyong sa mga fresh graduate, even doon sa mga graduate na hindi face-to-face. Pero hindi mo masisi, it’s only natural, common sense na kapag nagpipili iyong mga magha-hire, eh pipiliin nila siyempre iyong palagay nila mas qualified. Eh, sa order of priority, mahuhuli sila,” he added.

The ECOP head divulged the industries with the highest demand from would-be employees. These, he said, are the Services, Manufacturing, and Construction industries.

As for the construction industry, Ortiz-Luis said the high demand in this sector could be attributed to the new projects by the government.

He also revealed the sectors that could potentially draw demand includes Tourism since the sector is experiencing growth. He added that the mining industry could also draw demand from employees or workers if the requirements would be relaxed.

The increase in the number of employed Filipinos in 2023 can be attributed to the continued reopening of the economy, Ortiz-Luis said.

As to the steps that ECOP is willing to undertake, Ortiz-Luis revealed the skills-matching efforts that the business group is doing.

“Mayroon kaming mga facility na nagma-matching, iyong mga kumpanya, mga miyembro namin ay tinitingnan namin kung ano iyong mga kailangan nilang mga trabahador at mina-match naman namin sa skills na nanggagaling sa TESDA [Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), sa schools na mayroon kaming mga ugnayan at iyon ay pinagma-match namin sila para mawala iyong mga mismatch na hanggang ngayon eh dinaranas pa natin,” he said.