Labor market outlook brightens in 2021 | Inquirer Business

Labor market outlook brightens in 2021

Firm cites potential increase across the board on recruitment and hiring in PH
/ 04:20 AM February 13, 2021

A labor market study has indicated that 35 percent of companies were looking to hire more workers this year while 45 percent intend to maintain status quo, a rather positive outlook than the massive layoffs that many were expecting due to the COVID-19-induced economic recession.

This was reflected in professional recruitment services firm Michael Page Philippines’ Talent Trends 2021 Report, a survey of 12 Asia-Pacific markets with more than 5,500 businesses and 21,000 employees, of which 3,500-plus were directors or customer experience officers. It did not specify how many of these were from the Philippines.


“We are seeing positivity increase across the board with regards to recruitment and hiring in the Philippines,” said Olly Riches, managing director of Michael Page Indonesia and Philippines.

“While the country’s e-commerce and logistics sectors aren’t as developed as other Asia-Pacific markets, the traditional consumer markets have remained robust and are assisting in the economic recovery,” he added.


The company, which opened its Manila office in August last year, said the sectors with the highest hiring activity were e- commerce, financial services, health care and life sciences, technology and telecommunications as well as fast moving consumer goods.

Citing its report, the company said 76 percent of employed technology professionals in the Philippines anticipated looking for new opportunities in 2021 while 20 were open to new ones.

To bridge skill gaps, 56 percent of companies in the Philippines cited their continued investment in employees by upskilling the workforce with training while 56 percent turned to the use of automation for basic processes.

Across the Asia Pacific region, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a major blow to the global economy across all sectors and markets in 2020. Job vacancies dropped by 8 percent to 35 percent depending on the location, the company said. Several businesses reported a conservative approach to their hiring strategy, choosing instead to freeze or even reduce their headcount in order to reduce costs.

However the reduced rate of hiring was not an indication that businesses shut out all qualified talent altogether. There was still some optimism for this year as 42 percent of businesses in the Asia-Pacific region said that they were already looking to increase headcount in 2021.

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TAGS: labor market, Michael Page Philippines
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