ONLINE JOBS PORTAL JobStreet said it expects the volume of employment offers to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of June, subject to the continued loosening of quarantine measures that were imposed to manage the public health crisis.

A possible easing of the lockdown by March will prompt businesses to ask employees to return to office work and increase jobs availability, JobStreet Country Manager Philip A. Gioca said in a news conference Thursday.

Jobs availability on the platform rose 20% in the last quarter of 2020, he said, with continued growth seen in the past month.

“We continue to see that growth this month of January, and… we are bullish to see these numbers grow higher in the next six months,” he said, after assessing data from the Labor and Finance departments.

More work-from-home, freelance, and project-based employment will increase opportunities for job seekers, he added.

But Mr. Gioca said new jobs for retrenched workers may not be of the same standing as the work available prior to the pandemic.

“We are not sure whether they will be accepting the same job, or they will be getting the same job,” he said.

Salaries offered to job seekers have also been impacted by the pandemic. Companies during the initial three to six months of the lockdown cut salaries by around 20% to reduce costs, but wages have since improved in the last quarter, Mr. Gioca said.

“Now we’re seeing better numbers. We are seeing better results on expansion and increasing their capabilities of sales and services and therefore their cash flow is now much better as compared to the first three or six months of the pandemic.”

Job posts for higher-level positions are at lower salaries compared to where they were pre-pandemic, he said.

The unemployment rate in October was 8.7%, equivalent to 3.813 million jobless, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. The rate peaked at 17.6% or 7.228 million unemployed during the strictest phase of the lockdown in April.

JobStreet on Feb. 17 will launch its virtual career fair, offering 55,000 positions across various industries including information technology, digital marketing, sales, and teaching. — Jenina P. Ibañez