Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)

Visualization by Ryan Joshua Liwag

Modern Day Heroes of the Philippines

For decades, inflows from OFWs have become one of the domestic economy’s growth operators. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are considered to be modern-day heroes all over the Philippines. Their jobs in other foreign countries have significantly reduced poverty and played an important role in transforming our once-struggling financial sector into the thriving one it is today. This visualization takes a look at the distribution of what kind of work OFW's are doing abroad.

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Male Female Elementary Occupations Services and Sales Professionals Clerical Support Workers Plant & Machine Operators Technicians & Associates Craft Related Trades Managers

Over 1.8 Million overseas Filipino workers during 2021

Remittances sent by Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are helping to bridge the gap between the rich and the disadvantaged by supporting a thriving middle class. With higher standards of living and more expendable income, consumers spend more on goods and services, propelling the economy forward. This is how OFWs help the economy. Money deposited from everywhere in the globe by Filipinos accounts for at least 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Majority of Overseas Filipino workers are women

They account for 60% of 1.1 million ofw’s in 2021. This same trend is present on previous years where women have maintained a the same share of workers

Majority of women work in elementary occupations

This means 4 in every 10 OFW are in elementary occupations

Elementary occupations involve the performance of simple and routine tasks which may require the use of hand-held tools and considerable physical effort

Among the 1.10 million female OFWs, majority (64.8%) were engaged in elementary occupations, followed by service and sales workers at 17.1 percent

Men have a greater share in more manual and technical jobs

Among the 726 thousand male OFWs in 2021, the largest share of workers were in the following occupations: plant and machine operators and assemblers (31.2%), service and sales workers (15.5%), technicians and associate professionals (14.8%), craft and related trades workers (13.8%), and elementary occupations (10.7%)

The remaining share of work are distributed between Manager roles and clerical support workers.

OFW's continue to be a rock for the Philippines despite the pandemic

Despite the restrictions due to COVID - 19, remittances from Overseas Filipinos saw double - digit growth last May 2021 as more jobs came back and more opened worldwide, according to an article that was posted in Rappler by Ralf Rivas named Overseas Filipinos' Remittances Up to 13.1% in May 2021. It also mentioned that according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, money transfers through bank transfers rose up to 13.1% (around $2.38 billion) from $2.34 billion last year

At the end of the day, OFWs not only represent the country and economy, but they also represent the families and loved ones that they work hard for to have a better life for them. It's no joke that they struggle each day to make ends meet, but when they see that their families and loved ones have better lives because of them, that makes them feel proud of themselves.


  • https://psa.gov.ph/statistics/survey/labor-and-employment/survey-overseas-filipinos