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Unemployment In The Philippines

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The major problem of unemployment in the Philippines isn't due to a lack of jobs. It is due to a lack of skills. According to different sources on Google, the Philippines' unemployment rate is at 7.3%. In a Wikipedia list of countries by unemployment rates, the Philippines is at 6.9%. In contrast, the US has an unemployment rate that ranges from 8.7% to 8.8%, and even Canada is battling unemployment, at 7.6%, with both Google and that Wikipedia list as sources.

This goes to show that the Philippines is actually in a better spot than either of these two countries that we Filipinos consider as sort of Meccas of progress. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but the numbers don't lie: there are jobs to be had in this country. And as a few news programs have encouraged, all it really takes to fill these spots are QUALIFIED candidates.

The sad reality in the Philippine jobs arena is that there are so many companies with so many openings who are ready, willing and able to hire, but there are just too few people to fill their needs. In my experience as an applicant to different call centers, I've noticed that so many candidates are ready and willing to get a job, but they rarely make the cut because their skills are not good enough for the company.

On the other side of the fence, the experience has been similar. I've taken recruitment gigs for different clients as a part-time thing. I've sorted out resumes and have broken my heart over and over on the fact that a lot of the applicants have an "I desperately need a job" splashed all over their resumes and cover letters, and yet will not make the cut because they just aren't good enough.

And that's the sad thing. But instead of us wringing our hands at the fact that a good number of Filipinos are underemployed or even unemployed, why don't we just face realities and work at a solution?

Problem: Our educational system churns out graduates who are lacking in skills and are unfit for employment.
Solution #1: Compel the wealthy to create programs to remedy this via encouraging the creation of Corporate Social Responsibility Programs.
Solution #2: On an individual level, if you have the means, help out one teen graduate from high school every 4 years. Or if you don't have the means, connect them to breaks and to people who do. Or encourage people. Even things like showing people they can conquer poverty and rise above their circumstances could already go a long way.

Problem: Graduating from college lacking skills.
Solution: Seek to learn more, even if it's not in formal education. The Internet is definitely worth more than hours of Facebook fun. Need web design skills? Google that. Need to sharpen your writing skills? Start a blog. Want to see if your work could get paid for? Go to freelancer.com, Odesk.com or google "online job marketplaces" and you can try your luck at getting clients.

Problem: You don't seem to get accepted to jobs you are applying for.
Solution: Look for a friend who has graduated from AB or BS Psychology, or is working as a company recruiter or HR personnel and ask if he or she could look at your resume and check if the way you've been taking your interviews is effective. This feedback and coaching will show you what you're doing wrong in your job applications and how you can improve. If you don't have friends who are into recruitment, you can visit a high school or a college career counsellor and ask them to look at your jobhunt strategy, your resume and how you respond in a mock interview to check how you're doing.

There are a lot of solutions to the problems that may arise in the issue of unemployment in the Philippines. The point is, millions of Filipinos found jobs. Meaning they're doing something right. Most of them are no different from you. That's why it's only a question of refining your jobhunt or job interview strategy, or beefing up your skills. Good luck and God bless your jobhunt!

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