As always, our country faces a growing dilemma of having too many qualified applicants but too few job vacancies. This is a significant concern for the general public as it affects the overall economic stability and well-being of the country’s workforce. We have yet to see how the government can address this imbalance between the supply and demand for jobs in the Philippines.

One of the primary reasons for the high number of job seekers in the Philippines is the country’s rapidly growing population. With over 100 million people living in the Philippines, the workforce continues to expand, leading to a surplus of workers in the job market. This demographic trend is further exacerbated by the limited number of job opportunities available, resulting in intense competition among job applicants, particularly in urban areas where job opportunities are concentrated.

Another significant factor contributing to this imbalance is the mismatch between the skills and qualifications of job applicants and the requirements of employers. Many graduates in the Philippines are unable to find suitable employment due to the lack of relevant skills and experience demanded by employers. As a result, highly qualified individuals often end up underemployed or resort to jobs that do not utilize their full potential, leading to a waste of human capital and talent in the country.

The country’s labor market is also affected by structural issues such as the prevalence of informal employment and the lack of labor market flexibility. Informal employment, which includes self-employment and work in the informal sector, accounts for a significant portion of the workforce in the country. This type of employment often lacks job security, benefits, and social protection, making it difficult for workers to secure stable and decent-paying jobs. Additionally, rigid labor laws and regulations in the Philippines may deter employers from creating more job opportunities, aggravating the mismatch between job seekers and job vacancies.

To address this issue, policymakers and stakeholders must adopt certain approaches that encompass various strategies. One key strategy is to invest in education and skills training programs that align with the demands of the labor market. By equipping students and job seekers with the necessary skills and competencies required by employers, the government can help bridge the gap between supply and demand in the job market.

Efforts should be made to promote entrepreneurship and encourage the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) particularly in the countryside. SMEs play a crucial role in job creation and economic development, providing employment opportunities for a significant portion of the workforce. By supporting the growth of SMEs through financial incentives, access to credit, and business development services, the government can help alleviate the pressure on the job market and create more job vacancies for job seekers.
What’s important is to address the root causes of unemployment and underemployment, implement targeted interventions to improve skills and industry-relevant education, and promote entrepreneurship and SME growth. The government should begin to mitigate the imbalance between supply and demand in the labor market and create more opportunities for its workforce. Only through collaborative efforts and sustained investment in human capital and job creation can the Philippines overcome the challenges posed by its labor market dynamics and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth.