32.1 million Vietnamese workers hurt by Covid-19 in 2020

By Nguyen Quy   January 6, 2021 | 04:56 pm PT
32.1 million Vietnamese workers hurt by Covid-19 in 2020
Workers at the Hue Phong Leather Shoes Company in HCMC leave factory after work, August 27, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The unprecedented impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have forced 32.1 million Vietnamese workers aged 15 or above to either lose their jobs or have their working hours reduced in 2020.

As a result, the nation’s labor force shrunk by 1.3 million workers to 53.4 million last year in what the government called unprecedented in the past decade, Vu Thi Thu Thuy, director of General Statistics Office (GSO), told the press Wednesday.

Among the unemployed, 51.6 percent were women.

The service sector was hit hardest by the crisis with 71.6 percent of workers affected, followed by the processing and manufacturing industries (64.7 percent) and agriculture (26.4 percent).

The average monthly income in 2020 was VND5.5 million ($236.52), down 2.3 percent over the previous year.

Vietnam saw a 10-year record high unemployment rate of 2.48 percent, up 0.31 percentage points against the previous year. The urban employment rate was 3.88 percent, up 0.77 percentage points.

The severe Covid-19 impacts have seen as many as 101,700 businesses in Vietnam close up shop in 2020, up 13.9 percent year-on-year.

Businesses of all sizes and sectors have closed during the social distancing period the government imposed in April to contain the spread of the virus, while factories had to reduce staff working hours or let workers go.

The Vietnamese economy, unlike most others, was able to escape contraction in 2020 thanks to competent handling of the Covid-19 crisis. It grew at 2.91 percent last year.

The government has set a GDP growth target of 6.5 percent for 2021.

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