Five million Vietnamese workers lose jobs to Covid-19

By Anh Minh    April 24, 2020 | 01:29 am PT
Five million Vietnamese workers lose jobs to Covid-19
A shop in HCMC's Ben Thanh market is closed on March 27, 2020 since there are few customers. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Covid-19 pandemic has cost nearly five million Vietnamese workers their jobs as of mid-April, bringing Q1 employment figures to a 10-year low.

Processing and manufacturing industries were most heavily impacted with 1.2 million jobs affected; followed by wholesale and retail, 1.1 million; plus accommodation and catering services, 740,000, according to General Statistics Office (GSO).

Of those affected, 59 percent are temporarily out of work, 28 percent are taking turns to work, and the remaining 13 percent have lost their jobs.

"The complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic have affected employment in most manufacturing and business sectors," the GSO report said.

Vu Thi Thu Thuy, Director of the GSO’s Department of Population and Labor Statistics, said that in the first quarter, labor force participation declined the most in the last 10 years. Just 75.4 percent of the 15- year-and-above population joined the labor force during this period, down 1.2 and 1.3 percent respectively over the previous quarter and the same period last year.

Unemployment among workers 15 years and above also reached a 5-year high. According to the GSO, unemployment rate in the first quarter was 2.22 percent, up 0.07 percent  against the previous quarter and 0.05 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the average monthly income of workers in the first quarter reached VND6.2 million ($264), an increase of VND353,000 ($15) compared to the previous quarter and an increase of VND473,000 ($20) year-on-year.

A GSO study also found nearly 85 percent of enterprises saying they are facing many difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vietnam recorded a GDP growth of 3.82 percent in Q1, its lowest in a decade. As many as 18,600 companies temporarily suspended business in Q1, up 26 percent year-on-year.

Up to 10.3 million workers could be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, losing jobs or seeing their incomes decline in the second quarter, according to a recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

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