Provincial jobs rising as BPO firms flock to countryside

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

The number of jobs available in the provinces continues to grow with 44.07 percent of total jobs generated in 2016 situated in the country’s various provinces, the highest in three years.

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Meanwhile, the BPO industry continued to dominate the local job market across all position levels, generating a total of 71,299 jobs.

However, in spite of customer service and technical helpdesk positions still being the most sought after jobs in BPO companies, job openings for other specializations have emerged, creating even more employment opportunities in an industry dubbed as a “sunshine industry” some 10 years ago. Healthcare and financial services are among these emerging fields now requiring manpower in BPO firms.

These are some of the findings reported in the latest “Salary Report and Job Trends Initial Data” released annually by JobStreet.com. Representatives from the online career site shared details of these findings and other data during a media launch on Feb. 22 at Dillingers 1903 in Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

“They can now set up infrastructure in the provinces and hopefully that continues because that’s good news for the Philippines. We see a lot more trend that the branches are being built outside the metro probably because of the traffic conditions, the high cost of living here in Manila,” stated Philip Gioca, country manager for JobStreet.com Philippines. “So moving there in the provinces makes a lot of economic sense.”

Citing Bacolod as an example, Gioca cited that JobStreet only had 55 users from the city before. Now, a lot of new businesses from Bacolod are signing up for JobStreet every week.

Noting that such investments are important in turning sleepy towns into commercial hubs, Gioca added that the BPO industry contributed to such transformation with several BPO offices located in the provinces as well.

Aside from Bacolod, other places outside Metro Manila that have registered an increase in number of job opportunities are Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Pampanga, and Northern Luzon.

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IT is highest paid

Meanwhile, the report indicated that in the race for dominance of the Philippine job market, retail jobs came in a far second to BPOs with 5,750 jobs; manufacturing and production came in third with 5,448; property and real sector notched fourth position with 3,691; and banking and financial services at fifth spot with 3,022.

These were followed by construction and engineering (2,777), food and beverage (2,707), information technology (IT) and software development (2,705).

Even if IT jobs trailed other specializations in terms of jobs generated in 2016, they nevertheless continued to lead the pack where salary is concerned even as compensation has increased across multiple industries.

Junior executives in IT companies received an average salary of P37,034 followed by those in law/legal services with P29,430, training and development with P27,253, and banking/financial services with P27,188.

IT company supervisors were paid an average of P68,723 a month, followed by those in actuarial science/statistics with P65,741, law/legal services with P48,014, and journalists/editors with P40,708.

Meanwhile, managers for corporate strategy got an average salary of P125,976. IT managers were the second highest paid, receiving an average monthly salary of P91,100 followed by those for actuarial science/statistics with P81,799, and quality control/assurance for P80,828.

“This also shows how current companies are expanding as they are more inclined to invest in their employees,” said Gioca.

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The report also indicated a significant increase in the number of jobs available last year in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Of the total number of jobs, 39.83 percent was generated by SMEs while the rest came from the corporate sector. Many of these jobs in SMEs, Gioca revealed, were actually coming from the provinces.

As far as company benefits for managerial levels are concerned, the retail industry was the “most generous” in terms of giving out guaranteed or mandatory bonuses, according to the report.

The consumer durables and apparel industry was the second most generous followed by the insurance industry.

For non-guaranteed bonuses like the performance bonus, the top three providers were transportation and logistics, consumer durables and apparel, and materials and construction.

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