Job hunters 2013: Will the fresh graduates get their dream jobs?

The school year is almost done and about 530,000 college seniors will graduate this summer. It is now time for job hunting -- but what are your chances of getting your dream job immediately?

New employment data released last Friday by the National Statistics Office could offer a glimpse of what’s in store for you and other job hunters.

In an article by Jose M. Galang - a former Philippine correspondent for international media institutions like Financial Times and Far Eastern Economic Review -- as the economy grew by 6.6 percent in 2012, over 606,000 new jobs were created in the 12 months to January 2013, according to the NSO estimates. More than 37.94 million Filipinos were gainfully employed as of January, the preliminary numbers gathered from the Labor Force Survey of that period indicated.

That is the good news.

On the other hand, there were over 2,894,000 individuals without jobs as of last January. This was higher by 2,000 compared to the same month last year.

By age group, an estimated 1.43 million persons among the unemployed were in the 15-24 years age bracket, to which new college graduates belong obviously. There were 20,000 more in this age group of unemployed last January compared to last year.

On top of that, out of the individuals who already had jobs, some 7.93 million considered themselves “underemployed”—more than 55 percent working for less than 8 hours a day—and were available for jobs with longer work hours.

Going back to college graduates, there were more than 489,000 of them among the unemployed Filipinos as of January 2013. College undergraduates, on the other hand, numbered around 379,100.

There was a drop in the number of unemployed college graduates—by more than 28,500 over the 12-month period. On the other hand, the number of unemployed college undergraduates fell by a slower 8,400 from the year before.

It can be surmised, therefore, that this summer’s new graduates of over 530,000 individuals will be joining the already unemployed 868,000 college graduates and undergraduates in looking for jobs in the coming months.

If job creation will follow the past year’s pace—606,000 new hires in 12 months to January 2013—there will be a shortage just to accommodate the job hunters who can be considered to have better education qualification as college graduates or undergraduates.

A bigger number of the unemployed comes from the ranks of high school graduates and undergraduates who were already in the job market as of last January. The NSO preliminary data indicated there were over 1.35 million of them, and that number was higher by more than 20,000 over the 12 months in review.

Furthermore, out of the 37.94 million employed individuals last January, about 11.5 million were occupying positions that can be considered attractive to college graduates.

Only 2.9 million of these jobs were held by "professionals, technicians and associated professionals.”
Another 2.16 million were clerks while 4.74 million were service workers and shop and market sales workers, the NSO data indicate.

Want to be a manager or supervisor in an office? There were about 6.1 million of those employed as of last January who held this category of jobs, but they include government officials and owners of the businesses they worked for.

The biggest group of employed individuals was in the “laborers and unskilled workers” category, which accounted for an estimated 12.4 million of the employed individuals in January.

There are moves in government to refine policies towards enticing more students to take up courses that would fit competence levels and skills required in the kind of industries that are seek to move into the country in the coming years.

The government says it is working with colleges and schools to ensure that the courses they offer match the kind of jobs that are expected to be generated by the growing economy.

But that will still take some time to bear fruit.

Opportunities are needed now by new college graduates and those with lesser educational attainment but are keen on becoming productive members of society.

Tips to get hired

In the meantime, what can the new graduates who don’t get hired immediately possibly get busy with while waiting for that dream job offer? Online placement group has a few “useful things” you can do while waiting:

* Learn (get certifications, take crash courses, read books, study online tutorials, ebooks and niche blogs) to acquire new knowledge about the industry you want to enter.

* Network (with friends or acquaintances) and “let people know” that you are looking for a job.

*Volunteer for work that will provide you “valuable experience” you will need someday. “You need experience and many need someone to do the job for free.”

* Do freelance or part-time work. You can also earn some cash from this. The online jobs recruitment group recommends: publicly offering your services to your circle of friends; putting your service on social networking sites or classified sites; and finding part-time job openings online for available vacancies in companies.

There are opportunities out there for a career despite the lag in the economy’s ability to create new jobs. But one must look for these, instead of simply waiting.

Job hunters 2013: Will the fresh graduates get their dream jobs? Job hunters 2013: Will the fresh graduates get their dream jobs? Reviewed by Leun Sotragues on 1:28 AM Rating: 5

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