How big is The Philippines talent pool?

How big is The Philippines talent pool?

We often get asked questions around the supply of talent in the Philippines.

First let me give you some interesting stats you might know, and some you’d never thought about.

General Workforce and Population Statistics for The Philippines

There are around 108 million people in the Philippines, with a workforce participation of 43 million (~40%).

That contrasts against Australia, with a population of 25 million with a workforce of 12.7 million (~50%).

So the workforce is nearly 4 times the size of Australia’s.

The average (median) age in the Philippines is 24 compared to 37 in Australia. So it’s a young and booming population in Philippines, and you’ll notice this in interviews because fewer applicants will be over 30, compared to what you’re used to seeing onshore.

The geographical size of the Philippines is smaller than Australia of course, but it might be bigger than you thought.

From top to bottom it’s longer than from Brisbane to Melbourne, as this map shows:
(Map is corrected from Mercator size errors using )

The Philippines talent pool

Salary Statistics Philippine Workers

A minimum wage earner in the Philippines receives a monthly pay ranging from US$170 to US$288 depending on which area or region the worker is employed.  For the purposes of remote staffing, those numbers are not useful as you will not hire skilled tech-capable staff at minimum wage.  Minimum wages have risen significantly in recent years, which is great news for retail, blue collar and agricultural workers.

A rule of thumb for estimating salary costs with skilled white collar workers is this:

  • Lower skilled or entry-level office-based salaries are around one-fifth of Australian rates.
    (Examples, Level 1 technical support, administration)
  • Highest skilled office-based salaries are around one-third of Australian rates.
    (Examples, senior software developers, specialist IT engineers, civil engineers)
  • It’s worth noting that living costs are between one fifth and one-eighth of the cost of Australia, so those smaller salaries stretch a long way.
  • Like everywhere in the World, the salaries of high end IT staff have grown faster than CPI over the past 5 years but are currently fairly stable.  Graduates and mid-skilled IT staff have not increased much beyond CPI.

Education and Supply of Philippine Graduates

  • The Philippines produced 703,000 university/college graduates in 2017, up 150% from 10 years ago.
  • 74,000 (~11%) graduated in I.T., up 200% from 10 years ago.
  • There is a significant over-supply of graduates generally, and IT graduates over the past 5 years. IT remains a very popular choice for study in the Philippines due to the high salaries and great working conditions.

In conclusion, the Philippines has a rich talent pool and a supply of graduates that is accelerating rapidly with the rise of a new middle class.

It has plenty of top quality tech staff to supply the needs of Australia and beyond.