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The Philippine Job Market In 2021: 5 Employment Trends To Highlight for 2022

The Philippine Job Market In 2021: 5 Employment Trends To Highlight for 2022

As your trusted Talent Partner, our primary priority is for you to stay updated. The world continues at a fast-paced, fluid motion and several trends have come about because of it. 

With this, we take a look at what the job market in the Philippines looked like in 2021. Here in this review, we take a deep dive into the trends, salaries, and specializations that rose. Plus, we give you a sneak peek at what the year has to offer. 

2021 Philippine economic outlook: A slow recovery

AlJazeera News shares that the Philippine GDP shrank in Q4 of 2020. Specifically, the number went down by about 8.3% during that period. Factors that contributed to this were higher government expenses and the continuous fallbacks of the pandemic. Due to this, the predictions for 2021 were slightly pessimistic. 

Experts shared a gloomy start to the new year, as the downward trend would extend to early January. But despite not being completely out of the woods yet, there came a turn for the better. The country saw aggressive vaccination drives from both the public and private sectors throughout the year. On top of that, the GDP redeemed itself by 11.8% in Q2 of 2021. 

While there was an ECQ in mid-August 2021, restrictions relaxed towards the end of the year. As the cases shrank to the hundreds, the workforce bounced back. Somehow, a new normal came about. Restaurants reopened, offices welcomed on-site work, and cinemas finally reopened.

However, the introduction of two new variants Delta and Omicron shifted the plans 180 degrees. The Visayas and Mindanao regions saw devastating tragedy in Typhoon Odette, which ravaged the islands. 

With these in mind, the birth of employment trends specific to the year is inevitable. What were they? Let us take a look at them now. 

2021 Job Market Outlook

Despite the up and down variance in employment rate, 2020 finished strong at 91%. Recovery was the priority of 2021, and the employment rate increased a smidge at 91.1%. 

Armed with such data, let us dive deeper into the trends that came about.

Location-Based Demand We first take a look at the demand per city and province in the country. Based on the data alone, there is a demand spike in the city of Pampanga. Jumping ahead to job-based demand, it is clear that there is a 35% growth rate in Customer Service. As such, the BPO industry contributes a huge chunk to that number. 

While it is common knowledge that the country is one of the biggest hosts to the BPO industry, NexFord Insights shares that on average, the industry contributes about 1.5T ($30B) to the economy. On top of that, Clark City in Pampanga has seen a rise in BPO centers. This is because next to Metro Manila, it has the second-highest office take-up in the Philippines. As compared to 2020, you can see that there is an 86% growth rate. Davao del Sur and Bukidnon follow suit.


What types of candidates are searching for more job opportunities? A look at our compiled data shares that the type of specializations that professionals apply for are blue-collar in nature. These jobs were the most negatively affected during the quarantine protocols. As the restrictions relaxed, there was an uptick in demand and in essence, a rise in applications on the platform. 

While the hospitality industry saw a huge dip during the pandemic, F&B Restaurant Service and Hotel Management placed top 2. This means that during their recovery process, demand shot up. BusinessWorld Online shares the trend of “revenge travel,” as the main factor for recovery in the year 2022. What does that term suggest? It is a response to the pent-up feelings of wanting to be out of isolation. 

When travel resumed in September 2021, Boracay Island received a visit rate of 1,151%. Aside from that, vaccinations for the hotel and restaurant industry were well underway, and most of them were inoculated by end of the year.


Rise In Profile Creations Per Specialization As more and more demand for jobs grow, so do the professionals in their quest to land the perfect role. Moreover, the dependence professionals and employers alike have on digital recruitment is here to stay. With that said, we see a spike in profile creation jobseekers do for a chance at securing such roles in these top industries. 

It is important to note that due to the worldwide shift to digital, the way we purchase has changed too. E-Commerce grew, as evidenced by retail shopping giants Lazada and Shopee. Jobseekers have noted this change, and are drawn towards roles in such an industry. In fact, e-commerce is one of the big reasons why professionals flock to sign up.


A healing workforce: Recovery is ongoing With the unemployment rate at 6.9% in July 2021, the rise in job demands was evident. The road to a post-COVID working world is still well underway, but the workforce is showing signs of recovery progress already. 

But before we take a look at the recovering industries, the pandemic still wields negative effects on some industries. Events management (-33%) and non-profit organizations (-28%) have declined in job openings. 

However, these do not have to be considered dismal statistics. A shift in perspective tells a different story – that these industries have shifted their priorities. Recruitment may be at the bottom of their list for now, but trust that they will open that door again soon.


Recovering Industries On the other hand, you have industries well on their way to recovery. In this graph, we detail that the top 5 belong to the sciences with semiconductor/wafer fabrication at a 187% growth rate.


Growth in Job Openings The World Health Organization shares that mental health conditions cost the country Php 68.9B. The factors that comprise this come from a decrease in productivity and healthcare expenses. As such, it is evident that social and counseling services topped the ranks at 281%. Sales (Financial Services) and IT/Computer (Software) follow at 103% and IT at 98%.

Also read: 5 ways to care for employee mental health

Most Stable Industries Today With automation and digitalization on the constant rise, it is no surprise that Computer/Information Technology have maintained their mark at the top. They are first on the list at 74% growth. Construction and Manufacturing place 2nd and 3rd with 51% and 48%.

Also read: Your Checklist For Upskilling and Retraining Employees

A look forward to 2022 Despite slashing their targets by 4%, government officials cement their predictions for recovery early this year. With their target GDP hit, the goals for reaching their next one are not too far ahead. The Philippine Inquirer shared that the number peaked above 5%. This spells good news and a continuous hopeful rebound from 2020. 

Investment bank Goldman Sachs shares that their prediction for GDP could be at around 7%. As for employment, Trading Economics shares that the rate could go up to 92%. Even if the variants have come to stay, companies plan to increase the workforce by tenfold. With the constant demand for jobs across all industries, such a trend would move only upward. 

However, while the Asian Development Bank credits the vaccination program and public spending on infrastructure with recovery, the organization still noted the potential slowing down of economic activity due to the Omicron variant. Caution is therefore advised to move forward seamlessly. 

But despite the fluidity of things, optimism remains to be a strong theme for 2022. While we are not out of the woods just yet, vaccination and a cautious attitude will help the workforce thrive further. 

As employers, it is important to keep in mind that the ways of recruitment have changed. First off, online hiring is here to stay. Integrating it and making it a part of your SOPs is a start. But the need to weed through the employees you pool in may prove difficult. To make your hiring/interview process easier, you can check out our set of tips to spot the good candidates from the not. 

On the other hand, you can also look into the idea of a hybrid workforce. Combine the need for onsite and work from home. Such a mindset can help you reel in the top talent you want. Lastly, have the right tools in your arsenal when you are ready to recruit. Tap into online job ads that can help you bring in the people you desire. With equipment like Lite Ad, you can best believe that your potential candidates are right at your fingertips.  

Good luck on the year ahead!

Use Talent Search to access the largest talent database in Southeast Asia and find the best candidate for the job. 

For more advice and insights on how you can adapt your business to face today’s challenges, visit Inspirations.

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