Worker expenses surpass income by 50%

By Hong Chieu   August 9, 2023 | 03:00 am PT
Worker expenses surpass income by 50%
Workers leave a factory in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
An average worker earned VND7.9 million ($333) but spent VND11.7 million per month in the second quarter this year, and many of them had to borrow to cover basic expenses, a survey has found.

The survey conducted by the Institute of Workers and Trade Union polled nearly 3,000 workers in the second quarter in the six localities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Hai Phong, Phu Tho and An Giang.

Average spending rose 19% year-on-year to VND11.7 million per month due to the rising costs of living. Food accounted for 70% of their spending.

More than 75% of workers said that their income was not enough to cover expenses.

Over 17% of respondents had to borrow frequently and lived in constant fear of debt collectors.

More than half of respondents said that low income affected their decision to get married, and nearly three out of four said the same about having a child.

Nearly half of the respondents had never thought about requesting a raise, and this showed the passiveness of workers in salary negotiation, said Pham Thu Lan, deputy head of the Institute of Workers and Trade Union.

Nguyen Thai Duong, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Trade Union, said that market prices and costs of living need to be taken into account in upcoming salary negotiations.

Vietnam’s National Wage Council on Wednesday had its first meeting on adjusting the minimum salary for next year. There will be two or three such sessions.

Vietnam’s minimum salary is adjusted every years. Last year, it increased 5.88% to VND4.68 million per month.

The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour said that in the first six months this year over 500,000 workers lost their jobs or saw their work hours reduced, mostly in HCMC, Long An, Tay Ninh and other southern localities.

A total of 75% of them were in foreign direct investment companies.

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