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Over seven million Vietnamese workers can lose jobs

By Nguyen Quy   June 5, 2020 | 06:00 am PT
Over seven million Vietnamese workers can lose jobs
Workers at a textile factory produce face masks in the northern province of Thai Nguyen. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
A worst-case scenario sketched by the labor ministry estimates 7.2 million workers could lose their jobs during the remainder of this year if the Covid-19 pandemic worsens.

Nguyen Thi Quyen, deputy head of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs' department of employment, said the country must prepare for different scenarios with the job market as the Covid-19 crisis is unprecedented and hard to predict.

In the worst-case scenario that Vietnam is severely affected by the further deteriorating global situation, between 6.1 and 7.2 million Vietnamese workers could lose their jobs and 90 percent of enterprises impacted.

Even under the most optimistic scenario under which the pandemic situation improves, between 3-3.5 million workers could become unemployed and up to 75 percent of enterprises could be affected.

The ministry said it was planning to spend between VND3-5 trillion ($129-215 million) from the unemployment fund on retraining and skill enhancement to help workers adapt to coronavirus-induced changes in the labor market.

After Vietnam eased social distancing measures on April 23, 70,000-80,000 workers returned to work in May, but many enterprises remain in a difficult situation due to stalled exports, it added.

More than five million Vietnamese workers lost their jobs, worked fewer hours or had their incomes reduced because of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the first five months of 2020, the labor ministry said.

A survey conducted by the ministry found nearly 86 percent of Vietnamese enterprises affected by the pandemic, especially those in manufacturing and processing, wholesale, retail, logistics, catering and hospitality.

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.

Last year, the nation grew 7.02 percent, the second highest rate in a decade. The government has revised its GDP growth target to 4.5-5.4 percent for this year.

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