About three in ten OFWs are laborers and unskilled workers
The total number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in April to September 2007 was estimated at 1.7 million. Of this number, about 35.0 percent or 612 thousand OFWs were laborers and unskilled workers (i.e. sales and services, elementary workers, laborers in mining, construction, manufacturing, transport, agricultural, forestry, fishery and related laborers). Those who worked as sales or service workers comprised 14.3 percent; trades and related workers, 13.8 percent; and plant and machine operators and assemblers, 13.4 percent of the total number of OFWs.
Majority of female OFWs are laborers and unskilled workers
More than half (58.3%) of the total number of female OFWs in April to September 2007 worked as laborers and unskilled workers. On the other hand, male OFWs mostly worked either as trades and related workers (24.9%) or as plant and machine operators and assemblers (24.4%).
Laborers and unskilled workers are the most common occupation across age groups
Among the major occupations, laborers and unskilled workers comprised the largest proportion of OFWs in all age groups. The proportion was as high as 43.3 percent in age group 15 to 24 years and not as low as 22.1 percent of the total OFWs in age group 45 years and over. These workers were evenly distributed in age group 30 to 34 years and 40 to 44 years.
Almost half of laborers and unskilled workers come from Mindanao
OFWs from Mindanao mostly worked as laborers and unskilled workers (49.5%). The same situation was true among OFWs coming from Luzon (35.9%) and Visayas (35.3%). Meanwhile, the highest share of OFWs that came from the National Capital Region (NCR) worked as service workers or shop and market workers (21.9%).
Asia remains the top destination of laborers and unskilled workers
Seven in every nine OFWs (78.0%) worked in Asia. Most of the OFWs in Asia worked as laborers and unskilled workers (39.1%). About three in every ten OFWs (30.2%) in Europe were also laborers and unskilled workers. On the other hand, almost 29.0 percent of OFWs in North and South America were service workers and shop and market sales workers.
OFW laborers or unskilled workers post highest cash remittance
Among the major occupation groups, OFWs working as laborers or unskilled workers posted the highest cash remittance of P17.5 billion followed by plant and machine operators and assemblers (P15.3 billion), trade and related workers (P13.2 billion), and service workers and shop and market sales workers (P10.2 billion). The remaining occupation groups shared less than P10.0 billion.
Male OFWs who worked as plant and machine operators and assemblers sent cash remittance amounting to P14.5 billion or 17.8 percent of the total cash remittances. On the other hand, trade and related male workers had a remittance of P12.6 billion or 15.4 percent while the technicians and associate professionals and professionals sent cash remittance of P6.4 billion and P6.2 billion, respectively.
Among female OFWs, laborers and unskilled workers sent the highest remittance of P13.1 billion or 16.0 percent to the total cash remittance. Female OFWs working as service workers and shop and market sales workers contributed P4.7 billion or 5.8 percent to the total cash remittance and P3.2 billion or 3.9 percent as professionals.
The data presented in this special release were taken from the 2007 Survey on Overseas Filipinos (SOF). The SOF aims to derive national estimates on the number of Overseas Filipinos Workers, their socio-economic characteristics and the amount and mode of remittances, in cash and in kind, received by their families.
The OFWs covered in this report were those aged 15 years old and over and working abroad during the period April 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007. The workers who were at home on vacation from their jobs abroad who left earlier than April 1 of the reference year were also included in this report as long as they worked during the specified reference period.
OFWs include overseas contract workers (OCWs) who were presently and temporarily out of the country during the reference period to fulfill an overseas contract for a specific length of time or who were presently at home on vacation during the reference period but still had an existing contract to work abroad and other Filipino workers abroad with valid working visa or work permits. Those who had no working visa or work permits (tourist, visitor, student, medical, and other types of non-immigrant visas) but were presently employed and working full time in other countries were also included.
The SOF did not ask for the total salary received by the OFWs. Hence, the remittances presented in the results may just be a part of the total salary received by the OFWs.
Starting July 2003 round of the Labor Force Survey (LFS), the 2003 Master Sample (MS) design has been adopted. Using this MS design, the number of samples increased from 41,000 to around 51,000 households. The SOF, being a rider of the LFS, has also adopted the 2003 MS design starting October 2003. Careful evaluation must be made in comparing the results of the 2007 SOF with other SOF results that made use of an MS design prior to the implementation of the 2003 MS design.
Occupation is the specific kind of work a person does. If a person has a job but not at work, it is the kind of work he will be doing when he reports for work, or will be doing if he is waiting for a new job to begin within two weeks from the date of interview.
Source: National Statistics Office