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Tables 1 & 2: National Statistics Office Data on the Workforce, April 2010

(Originally published on Sunday, June 20, 2010)

Data on the unemployed:

Jan 2010 Apr 2010 Difference
Labor force 38.8 M 38.5 M 300,000
Jobless 2.8 M 3.1 M + 300,000
Unemployment rate 7.3% 8%* 0.7%

April 2010 NSO Survey highlights

  • Employment rates: Highest, Zamboanga Peninsula (96.9 percent); lowest, National Capital Region (NCR) (88.2 percent)
  • Unemployment        8.0%
  • Underemployment              17.8%
  • 35.4 million people were employed in April 2010
    • 52.0% Services sector (with the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods sub-sector comprising the largest sub-sector or 19.4% of all employees).
    • 32.5 %: Agriculture sector (with the agriculture, hunting and forestry sub-sector making up the largest sub-sector with 28.4% of all employees).
    • 15.5%: Industry sector (with the manufacturing sub-sector making up the largest percentage with 8.6% of all employees).
    • Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers predominated at 32.2 percent of the total employed persons in April 2010. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group, accounting for 15.6 percent of the total employed.
    • More than half (54.5%) of the employed persons were wage and salary workers, while more than one-third (33.7%) were own-account workers, and 11.8 percent were unpaid family workers.
    • Among the wage and salary workers, those working for private establishments comprised the largest proportion (40.2% of the total employed).
    • Full-time workers are those who work for 40 hours or more during the reference week while part-time workers work for less than 40 hours. The number of full-time workers in April 2010 was recorded at 21.7 million while the number of part-time workers was 13.0 million in April this year.
    • More males (62.5% of total unemployed) were unemployed than females (37.5%).
    • By age group, for every 10 unemployed persons, five (51.2%) were in the age group 15 to 24 years while three (29.6%) were in the age group 25 to 34 years.
    • By education, 44.5 percent of the unemployed had reached at most high school level while 41.6 percent had attained college level.

(Source:  Income and Employment Statistics Division, Household Statistics Department, National Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines)

Creating Opportunities in Adversity

(Originally published on Sunday, June 20, 2010)


Make your own good news by adapting your job search

If you’ve kept an eye on the news, the April 2010 Labor Force Survey (LFS) recently released by the National Statistics Office tells us that the unemployment rate has increased (see charts included with this article). But remember that there is always a way to turn things to your advantage.

Take the LFS results. If you read carefully, you’ll see that the jobs are in the services sector (making a culture of good customer of vital importance—something we’ll tackle). They will tell you that you have a better chance of being employed as a full-time laborer or unskilled worker at a private company, and if you’re a woman and/or you have a college degree.

So how can you increase your chances of getting a good job? Over the two years the Classifieds have been around, here are the best tips that have appeared on these pages:

1. Finish your education. Though over 40% of those unemployed have college degrees, remember that the survey includes fresh graduates. The jobs with higher starting salaries and greater room for promotions are most often open to those with college degrees.

2. Approach your job search differently and learn to be both flexible and creative. Be prepared to have to do more to find a job, and be willing to take a long hard look at your options. Remember, if you aren’t flexible and creative, there’s always someone else out there who is willing to be, and who will land the job ahead of you.

3. Now is the time to network. Why not let your Facebook, Multiply, and/or Friendster connections know you’re searching for a job? (Just be sure your account isn’t filled with photos and/or comments that make you look silly, unprofessional, or cast you in a bad light.) Don’t forget alumni associations for your school, past bosses and colleagues, even the people you interned for in your last year of college. Just two things to remember: Make a personal connection; be prepared to help the other person in turn, and be sincere.

4. Be armed. Improve your resume by updating it with job-oriented achievements instead of a mere list of work experiences, and reformatting it, if necessary. Ask for letters of reference now, and inform other references that you have listed them as such. Tailor your cover letter to specific companies you’re applying for, the better to show your suitability for a particular job. And why not get your employment requirements now? (See list of pre-employment requirements below.)

5. Be willing to work outside your comfort zone and to train in new skills. The good news is that new jobs in different growing fields, particularly in the BPO sector and in IT, are opening up to those who are willing to work outside their comfort zone and learn new things. Richard Nelson Bolles, author of “What Color Is Your Parachute?’’ He advises jobseekers to be receptive to the idea that in the future they may be working “in the service of new technologies,’’ he said. To prepare for this, why not take advantage of free training offered by institutions like the Philippine Trade Training Center or PTTC hold free training sessions (the last Friday of the month, and it’s listed in the Classified Calendar) to upgrade your skills?

5. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude. Consider jobs you weren’t sure you wanted to apply for. Take a few risks. Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer for Adecco, a staffing company, suggests that jobseekers make a list of what you need to do each day (see the sample list on this page), and “try to keep your emotions separate from the tasks of the day… This is not the time to say, ‘Well, there aren’t any jobs out there, so I won’t look,’ ” she says. Bolles adds that with the right attitude, job seekers “can often turn this crisis into a real advantage for themselves” by moving their life in a new and more fulfilling direction” so that they can look back and realize that “this is the best thing that ever happened to me.’’

6. Be willing to go outside your comfort zone. Don’t just look for the same job over and over. Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer for Adecco, a staffing company, advises jobseekers It is time to think harder about transferring the skills you have or acquiring new ones to move into a new type of job or industry.

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