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Oct 07, 2020 / 14:01

Over 4.4 million Vietnamese workers lose jobs on Covid-19

The services sector faced the most severe impacts with 68.9% of its workforce directly affected, followed by the industry and construction sector and agro-forestry and fishery.

Some 31.8 million workers aged 15 and over in Vietnam have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as of September, 14% of them, or 4.45 million, have been temporarily laid-off or lost their jobs, according to the General Statistics Office.

 4.45 million workers became unemployed as a result of Covid-19. 

Additionally, 21.9 million people, or 68.9% of the affected ones, have received less income than before the Covid-19 outbreak, and 12.7 million, or 40%, were forced to take unpaid leave or had their working hours reduced, said GSO Director General Nguyen Thi Huong at the launch of a report on Vietnam’s labor market in the third quarter on October 6.

The services sector faced the most severe impacts with 68.9% of its workforce directly affected, followed by the industry and construction sector with 66.4%; and agro-forestry and fishery with 27%.

The number of workforce aged 15 and over in the third quarter reached 54.6 million, up 1.4 million compared to the previous quarter but down 1.1 million year-on-year, indicating improvements following the sharpest plunge in the second quarter over the past decade.

Overall, the total workforce in the nine-month period was estimated at 54.4 million, down 1.2 million year-on-year, mainly in rural areas.

Notably, Vietnam recorded an average growth rate of 1% in the number of workforce in January – September during the 2016 – 2019 period. Should Vietnam have maintained such a growth rate in the nine-month period of 2020 and without Covid-19, the country would have had an additional 1.8 million workers, added the GSO.

In other words, the pandemic has been the major factor that took away work opportunities of 1.8 million people, stated Ms. Huong. 

In the January – September period, the entertainment sector was hit the hardest with over 88% of workers harmed by the pandemic; followed by hospitality and catering services (81.7%); transportation (79.7%); administrative and supporting services activities (72.7%); manufacturing and processing (70.1%); wholesale, retail, automobile reparation (68.5%); education (68.5%); and real estate (67.8%).

In the third quarter this year, over 1.3 million people were unable to find jobs, noted the GSO, adding the issue not only happened in the agricultural sector, but is spreading to industry, construction and services. 

The monthly income of workers in the third quarter averaged VND5.5 million (US$236), up VND258,000 (US$11) against the previous quarter and down VND115,000 (US$4.94) year-on-year. In the first nine months of 2020, the average monthly income slightly declined by 1.5% year-on-year or VND83,000 (US$3.56), with that of the administrative and supporting services activities declining the most (-6.5%), catering and hospitality services (-5.9%), and transportation (-4.9%).

To mitigate severe impacts of Covid-19 on the labor market, the GSO urged government agencies to speed up the implementation of the financial support package worth VND62 trillion (US$2.7 billion) for people directly affected by the pandemic.

Moreover, there should be specialized support packages for vulnerable people, particularly women and low-skilled workers, it added.