Region 11 posts 6% unemployment rate

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 September) — Region 11 posted an unemployment rate of six percent or around 122,000 of its labor force of 2.036 million as of April this year, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 11 said.
The region also posted an underemployment rate of 16.6 percent which is equivalent to 318,000 workers.

Underemployment means a condition where individuals are employed in jobs that don’t fully use their skills, or when they are employed part-time or in a seasonal manner even if they can render full-time work.

Citing the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, DOLE’s consolidated report on labor market JobsFit 2015 said Davao City’s Information and Communications Technology industry employed over 30,000 workers.

It added the most in-demand jobs in the industry are animator, back office processing/ accounting/ admin clerk, hardware technician, technical support, IT specialist, software developer, and customer service.

Among the hard-to-fill jobs are computer programmer/service developer, web developer in all platforms, web designer, graphics designer, animator, and technical support engineer.

Both the in-demand and hard-to-fill jobs require highly specialized skills or knowledge on hardware/ software servicing, according to JobsFit 2015.

The report also found out that applicants lack effective marketing and communications skills making it hard for them to land in jobs in the industry.

“There is an increasing number of business competitors within the industry, overseas employment opportunities, and available IT courses do not fit industry demands,” it added.

DOLE 11 recommended that IT courses should be specialized according to current and projected industry demands. “DepEd (Department of Education), TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority should improve curriculum with special focus on programming, web and software development in all platforms,” it said.

ICT Davao president Samuel Matunog said the industry is reviewing the curricula of the schools so that they can produce graduates who possess the right skills being sought by companies.

The ICT industry recorded the highest number of job openings among other industries in every major job fairs, following the opening of major call center companies and the growing number of local IT startups.

DOLE 11 assistant regional director Venerando Cebrano added the region must attract more manufacturing companies because they demand more workers while its impact will snowball to other industries.

He observed that a nation that has more manufacturing companies reflects a booming economic outlook.

JobsFit 2015 said the manufacturing industry in the region has high demand for finance staff, accounting staff, sales personnel/marketing staff, machine operators, and production workers/machine/forklift operators while the hard-to-fill jobs include chemists, finance analysts/ accountants, programmers, web designers, and machinists.

The report cited a shortage of industrial engineers, experienced engineers, ceramics engineers, materials planning and inventory control analyst, logistics coordinator while there is a surplus for accountants, fresh graduates of IT, computer engineers, and computer services. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)