HCMC industrial workforce shrinks by half after Covid lockdown goes

By Huu Cong   October 4, 2021 | 09:46 pm PT
HCMC industrial workforce shrinks by half after Covid lockdown goes
People leave HCMC for their Mekong Delta hometowns, October 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Only 50 percent of employees have returned to work at industrial parks and export processing zones, causing a severe labor shortage.

Pham Duc Hai, deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, said on Monday of around 288,000 workers, only around 135,000 have turned up.

"Businesses are recruiting new workers."

Saigon Hi-tech Park had around 50,000 workers before October of whom around half stayed at their workplace, but there too the numbers dropped after restrictions were eased, he said.

Of the 50,000, around 40,000 live in Ho Chi Minh City and the rest in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, and the zones are trying to persuade them to return or hire afresh to resume production, he said.

Nguyen Van Lam, deputy director of the city Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said around 42,700 people in the city sought jobs in the third quarter while demand was for 56,800.

Workers who returned to their hometowns would be sent messages to return though they would still need to meet certain Covid safety measures like testing and vaccination, he said.

People in the city looking for work would receive assistance from 127 job agencies while vocational schools would recommend their students to businesses, he added.

Ho Chi Minh City, epicenter of the fourth coronavirus wave, and its neighboring localities began to ease months of stringent restrictions on October 1.

Ironically, this caused an exodus of workers from the city to their hometowns since many could not sustain themselves after weeks or even months without a livelihood.

According to data from the Ministry of Public Security, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Long An have around 3.5 million migrant workers of whom 2.1 million want to return home.

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