Unemployment rate in the country stands at around 7 to 8 percent. In comparison with our Asia-Pacific neighbors, Malaysia has 3.4 percent, 8.9 percent in Indonesia, 2.3 percent in Thailand, and 3.4 percent in Singapore. In South Korea, it was 3.5 percent, Taiwan, 4.3 percent, China, 3.9 percent and Vietnam, 5.6 percent.
Most of the unemployed in the Philippines are fresh graduates with about 400,000 added to the labor force each year. But a significant ratio of them also are workers who were retrenched from their jobs or whose employment contracts were not renewed.
The country’s education system continues to produce college graduates whose skills don’t necessarily fit with what is in demand in the job market. When nurses were in demand abroad in the earlier part of the decade, nursing schools have mushroomed to accommodate growing demand for nursing education, effectively leaving out other medical fields such as respiratory therapists, cardio technicians and CT-scan operators that are also in demand abroad. As a result, many nursing graduates fail to land their dream jobs.
Because of lack of related skills and experience, jobless workers or fresh graduates are unable to take on careers that are available in the job market. Some would think it’s unimaginable to take a job that’s too unrelated to the course he/she finished in college. With little or no entrepreneurial skills, many job hunters are unable or unwilling to establish own business.
It’s hard, if not impossible, to land a job if an applicant doesn’t even know where to start. Even if they’re looking at a job description, some of them are unable to figure out how to fill up a form, how to use e-mail service or find the address of the recruitment agency. A few would leave comments in a news article expressing their interest.
In the Philippines, a simple job vacancy gets way too many applicants. As a way to pre-qualify applicants (or discourage those that are not fit), employers have set requirements that are otherwise discriminatory and unreasonable. Take a look at a typical job posting for a cashier job vacancy in Manila.
Such desperation to get a job can sometimes make applicants more prone to scams and fall prey to illegal recruiters, SMS and Internet scams, further degrading their lives. The government’s unemployment problem should not be remedied only by further exploration of job opportunities abroad rights to the Super Maid program). Such solution may be deemed short-term for temporary migrant workers. Generating more jobs domestically should also be intensified.
-Charle Anne L. Cabardo