BPO industry to generate 100,000 jobs this year: WB

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Mar 21 2012 03:35 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2012 11:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - New graduates can expect good employment prospects this year.

In its recently released Philippines Quarterly Update, the World Bank said the job prospects in the Philippines will see improvements due to higher public spending and continued growth in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

The BPO industry alone is expected to create 100,000 new jobs this year.

"Higher infrastructure spending is expected to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the construction and trade subsectors while continuous growth of the BPO industry is expected to generate 100,000 new jobs this year, although industry expansion is being slowed down by the diminishing supply of qualified workers," the World Bank said, in the report.

The BPO industry currently employs some 700,000 Filipinos. Around 61% of the BPO workers are employed in call centers.

One of the fastest growing segments in the BPO industry is finance and accounting, which employ Filipinos with accounting and financial backgrounds.

However, the global slowdown is expected to dampen jobs prospects in the exports sector. In particular, those working in the electronics sector, which accounts for around half a million direct  jobs in the sector, may be affected. 

The World Bank also sees slower deployment of overseas workers in the next quarters. 

"Over the medium-term, no significant changes in the level and quality of employment are expected unless structural reforms to address critical growth constraints are implemented," it said.

The World Bank is concerned with the overall level of quality of employment in the Philippines, saying there is a need for structural reforms to create more and better jobs in the future.

"While the global economic environment is not very good, the Philippines has strong fundamentals. That provides an excellent base to now seize the opportunity that the global rebalancing is presenting... Catching the next wave of investments into emerging markets, the Philippines can be the primary destination for it," World Bank Lead Economist Rogier J. E. van den Brink said.