Only three out of ten job-seeking graduates may find work

By all indications, graduates face a difficult job market

As new graduates enter the labor force, it is possible that only three out of ten college graduates looking for work may land a job.

According to research group IBON Foundation, this estimate does not even include graduates who do find jobs but may likely take whatever work is available even if these are unrelated to the college degrees.

In previous years some three out of five college graduates immediately join the labor force. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) estimates some 542,000 college graduates this year; applying this ratio again implies an additional 325,000 degree-holding job-seekers. Those who are going to look for work will be competing with 523,000 other unemployed graduates as of January 2010. This means that come this summer, there could be around 848,000 new and old college graduates looking for work.

By all indications, graduates face a difficult job market. In April last year for instance, according to government’s Labor Force Survey (LFS) data, only 256,000 new jobs for graduates were generated from the year before. If the economy is still only able to create this number of this year then, in a worst case scenario, only some three out of every ten college graduates (new and old) looking for work this summer will be able to land a job.

This problem is mitigated somewhat if the newly-erupting global crisis early last year was a factor that particularly dragged down job creation during this period. In any case, the long-term job prospects of college graduates is not secure where over one in ten college graduates in the country are actually unemployed– reaching 591,000 out of 5.63 million college graduates in the labor force after the closing of classes in April last year, according to LFS data.

This year’s new graduates thus face an uncertain future, the research group said. Many of them will join the ranks of the country’s unemployed jobless college degree holders and will be joining some 4.3 million jobless Filipinos as of 2009 (based on IBON estimates adjusting for the government’s change in methodology in April 2005). Unfortunately, the national economy is unable to generate sufficient and decent jobs– making the efforts of families to invest in their children’s education not a guarantee that they will be lifted from poverty. (end)

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