Unemployment Rate of 6%: Where Did They Go?

For the first half of 2022, difficulty in Recruitment has been evident in our workplace as we struggle in not only the fulfillment of the vacant positions but also in making the applicants show up. I am constantly checking with fellow HR colleagues (also thanks to HR Groups on Facebook) if they have similar experiences and true enough, we are not the only ones facing this. Is there really a manpower shortage or has there been an increase in employment opportunities that the ‘war of talents‘ had been so tight for everyone else?

Just this recently, I saw in the news that the Unemployment Rate here in the Philippines, as of May 2022, went up to 6%. I was like, ‘YOU DON’T SAY……’ I mean, where did the 6% go?

I had to check where they all went and I found this from PSA:

The top five sub-sectors in terms of month-on-month increase in employment from April 2022 to May 2022 were the following:

  • – Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (1.12 million);
  • – Construction (232 thousand);
  • – Fishing and aquaculture (104 thousand);
  • – Manufacturing (90 thousand); and
  • – Transportation and storage (70 thousand).

On the other hand, the top five sub-sectors in terms of the level of month-on-month drop in employment from April 2022 to May 2022 were the following:

  • – Agriculture and forestry (-733 thousand);
  • – Public administration and defense; compulsory social security┬á(-159 thousand);
  • – Arts, entertainment, and recreation (-109 thousand);
  • – Education (-95 thousand); and
  • – Professional, scientific, and technical activities (-51 thousand)

From the details above, it shows there’s an increase in employment demands and also, an increase in manpower availability however, there’s an evident mismatch of the available skills versus the demanded jobs.

So where did they go? According to PhilNews, here are the Top 10 Most In-Demand Jobs in the Philippines as of April 2022:

  1. 1. Podcast Editor
  2. 2. Virtual Assistant
  3. 3. Content Creator
  4. 4. Financial Planner and Financial Advisors
  5. 5. Life Coach
  6. 6. Software App Developers
  7. 7. Delivery Drivers
  8. 8. Logistics & Warehousing 
  9. 9. Information Security Analyst
  10. 10. Grocery Store Retail Worker

Now, this is where the 6% go. Well, maybe not the whole 6%. There has been an increase in labor workforce demand in virtual jobs, remote or hybrid work arrangements, and even an increase in job creation as people started to muster courage in setting up their own businesses despite the pandemic.

But with the differences in the demands of the current workplaces, most especially in Construction (which cannot really shift to remote or hybrid or WFH arrangement), how do you go about this?

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