10 million Vietnamese workers affected by coronavirus pandemic: ILO

By Dat Nguyen   April 21, 2020 | 06:15 pm PT
10 million Vietnamese workers affected by coronavirus pandemic: ILO
Workers leave a footwear factory in Ho Chi Minh City in April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
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.

The livelihoods of between 4.6 and 10.3 million workers in many sectors including retail, tourism, transport, manufacturing, accommodation and food services will be affected by the pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

These workers will see a decline in their working hours, wages, or lose their jobs, says the report titled "Covid-19 and the labour market in Vietnam."

With the wholesale and retail sectors facing a demand slump due to social distancing and tourism, transport and storage also affected by travel bans, the adverse impacts are difficult to avoid, it says.

Many businesses of all sizes and sectors have closed during the social distancing campaign period, while factories are reducing working hours of staff or letting workers go.

"The widespread reduction in economic activity is having an unprecedented impact on Vietnam’s world of work," the report says.

It notes that the crisis will hit informal workers especially hard, as these employees lack social protection coverage. Between 64-81 percent of staff in accommodation, retail and transport sectors are informal workers.

Vietnamese women will be among the more prominent victims, as they constitute more than half of the workforce in the hardest-hit sectors.

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, according to the General Statistics Office.

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