Thousands of college students graduating in the coming weeks are seen to face bleak employment opportunities.
The unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in January 2014 from 7.1 percent in January 2013, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported in a survey released the other day.
Alan Tanjusay, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesman, said “it’s not easy to dampen the hopes of new graduates, but based on these data we do not see college graduates finding jobs right away.”
TUCP executive vice president Gerard Seno said many of the 700,000 new college graduates would have difficulty finding employment and would likely end up jobless.
“We do not see college graduates finding jobs right away based on the latest National Statistics Office (NSO) survey,” he said.
However, Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is now concentrating more on quality than the quantity of jobs being generated.
“Since July 2012, when the employment structure seemed to exhibit a palpable shift, we have been monitoring the quality of employment and are pleased that it is being sustained as indicated by labor and employment indicators,” she said.
Seno said the number of jobless estimated at almost three million nationwide will further grow in the coming months when some 700,000 college graduates enter the labor force.
Based on the results of the Labor Force Survey, of the 39.41- million strong labor force in January 2014, about 2.96 million have no jobs, he added.
Seno attributed the high unemployment rate to the ineffective implementation of job-generating industry-led roadmaps, specifically the manufacturing and agriculture sector.
Foreign as well as local businessmen are reluctant to invest because the government is unable to deal with the high cost of electricity, the lack of basic modern infrastructure, as well as rampant smuggling and deteriorating peace and order situation, he added.
The different government programs, including DOLE’s regular job fairs failed to generate millions of jobs, Seno said.
Baldoz said for the past four years, the number of salaried workers increased from 19.6 million to 22.13 million, and that the growth in employment level is being sustained, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
“ While the number of self-employed and unpaid family workers in proportion to the total employed persons slightly increased by 3.3 percentage points from 35.8 to 39.1 percent, it remains well below the 40 percent level, which has been sustained since 2012,” she said