Covid cloud to cast H2 shadow over labor market

By Vien Thong   July 25, 2021 | 03:30 am PT
Covid cloud to cast H2 shadow over labor market
Workers at a factory of Japanese air conditioning manufacturing company Daikin in the northern province of Hung Yen, October 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Vien Thong.
The strongest Covid-19 wave to hit Vietnam will influence many enterprises to postpone or limit their recruitment plans, employment agencies report.

A report on demand for mid and high ranking employees in Q2 2021 and the second half of the year by recruitment agency Navigos says many companies delayed their recruitment or curtailed their hiring in the second quarter, and the situation will continue until the end of this year.

As the pandemic continues to rage in Europe and the U.S., a decrease in demands for goods will make the electronics, mechanical and furniture industries in the southern provinces see a drop or limit their recruitment for the next six months, it says.

"This situation continues to come under the influence of the pandemic happening in Vietnam, causing products to be produced at an indifferent rate level," the report says.

Hiring in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries will also decline. Navigos says its clients in these sectors want to keep the current number of staffs, while "several firms are downsizing and restructuring their business models while not hiring new employees."

While the FMCG sector is still in need of a fairly large number of employees for sales, marketing and finance - accounting, its production is happening at a low capacity as the focus remains on fighting the pandemic, the report says.

A large number of applicants are in the interview round with employers, and their interviews for the next round are being postponed or even canceled, it notes.

While the commerce sector is expected to continue employing new staff, hiring in the production sector will come to a standstill or dwindle significantly in the second half of the year.

The Navigos report says Q3 is likely to be a peak hiring period in the banking, insurance, securities, and semiconductor industries.

HCMC, Vietnam's Covid-19 epicenter, will face a lot of labor market difficulties, according to a report by the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Human Resources Forecasting and Labor Market Information (FALMI).

It says 83 percent of 4,140 surveyed companies have been negatively hit by the pandemic and 38 percent of workers in these firms have been affected. A high 92 percent have had their working hours cut; the rest (2.35 percent) have been told to stop working and receive a part of their salaries (2.35 percent), stop working without salary (2.18 percent) or sacked (1.20 percent).

The FALMI survey found 46.47 percent of enterprises, mostly in wholesaling, retailing, mechanical, processing, accommodation and F&B sectors, plan to reduce their workforce in the next six months.

Most of these firms will cut their recruitment in Q3, as Q4 will be the time to prepare for the market for the Lunar New Year.

The report sketches two human resource demand scenarios for the second half of 2021 in HCMC.

In the first scenario, the pandemic keeps growing and the city will need only about 127,000 workers; and in the second, the pandemic is contained and 147,000 vacancies will be added to the labor market.

As of Sunday morning, HCMC had recorded 58,198 Covid-19 cases in the outbreak that hit Vietnam late April.

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