Post-COVID employment challenges in the PhilippinesLabor market disruptions due to the pandemic resulted in a high incidence of severe job losses, particularly in the services sector, which accounts for the highest share of the country’s employed population. This was especially evident among public transport drivers and formal and informal services employees. Consequently, this resulted in an increased share of self-employed and unpaid family workers in 2020 and 2021.
Although the unemployment rate slightly decreased in 2021, concerns about skills mismatch within the labor pool were raised as several industries, such as construction, lacked a pool of skilled workers. This comes at a time when college diplomas were deemed more crucial than skills-based competencies. On top of that, several industries have pushed for the digitalization of their business transactions and processes, resulting in higher demand for tech-based skills that most displaced workers lack. To address this, the budget for the TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) was raised to increase the number of technical vocational schools in the Philippines. TESDA offers vocational courses in ICT, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and automotive, among others, which can also be taken online.