Occupational Mobility of Ilocano Migrants in Manila, The Philippines

Aratme, Natsumi

     Despite many studies of the analysis of rural-urban migration, relatively little research has examined the consequences of migration, both to receiving areas and to individual migrants. This is rather a curious situation, considering that most migrants come to the city in search of better economic opportunities in the city, and that obtaining a 'good' job is probably the most important concern for most migrants in the city. The purpose of this research is to address this gap in past research by systematically analyzing the labor market experience of migrants. In particular, I will describe and analyze (1) the job search period until first jobs are found in the city, (2) which occupations are entered first and (3) how this initial occupational choice unfolds into subsequent occupational statuses. Theoretically, this research seeks to relate social and labor market factors to individualistic theories of job search. The Philippine Migration Study, conducted in the Philippines in 1982, provides the data for this research.
     The findings indicate that male migrants follow the rational actor perspective more closely than female migrant. For male migrants, it is primarily the rational calculation based on the level of human capital that determines the job search periods, the initial choice of occupations, and the subsequent decision of change of occupations. Female migrants, in contrast, seem more affected by the demand side conditions, such as college degree, unemployment rates, and age. Social networks, for females, are useful for them in getting into less-paid informal sector jobs, and subsequent job change becomes difficult with more relations. In addition, not only a higher level of human capital but also referral by somebody is necessary for female migrants to find a better job. The research is concluded by discussing its general implication on the analysis of social networks, social mobility, and segmentation in the labor market.