THE decline in willingness to work abroad has been caused by pandemic-related restrictions and health anxieties. — BW FILE PHOTO

Jobstreet report cites pandemic restrictions, health concerns

FEWER Filipinos are willing to work abroad compared to previous years, a report released by online employment portal JobStreet on Wednesday said.

Only 54% of Filipino respondents in the 2020 survey said that they would consider working overseas compared to the 75% who said the same in 2018.

However, the number is still slightly higher than the global average of 50%, which also declined from 57% in 2018.

The Decoding Global Talent Philippine Edition Report 1 surveyed 15,178 people in the Philippines in November last year. Done in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group and The Network, the global report surveyed 208,805 people in 190 countries.

The decline in willingness to work abroad, the report said, has been caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions, along with health anxieties associated with travel. Tighter immigration rules in key economies like the United States, JobStreet added, could have also caused the decline.

“Virtual working [is] becoming the norm, [so] people may not need to move abroad anymore to find work but can do so remotely,” the report said.

Skilled Filipino workers are still likely to look for jobs abroad. More than 60% of those in engineering, automation, information technology, media, and health said that they would be willing to work abroad.

Top work destinations for Filipinos are still Canada and Australia in 2020. But the third top destination in 2020 is New Zealand, replacing the United States, which held the spot in 2018.

Many are also considering Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.

“In 2018, many Filipinos preferred western countries to pursue their careers. With the pandemic, we have seen that more Asian countries have grown in popularity among jobseekers likely due to better management of COVID-19,” JobStreet Philippines Country Manager Philip Gioca said in a statement.

According to the report, almost half of Filipinos are willing to work remotely for a foreign employer. Respondents prefer Australian, Canadian, and United States employers.

“For the past year, we have seen a growing demand for remote jobs, and more Filipinos are starting to adapt to this new working environment due to the current situation. Companies should invest more or provide a flexible working infrastructure to attract talents at this time,” Mr. Gioca said. — Jenina P. Ibañez