Vietnam sends record 140,000 guest workers abroad in 2018

By Sen    December 25, 2018 | 10:18 pm PT
Vietnam sends record 140,000 guest workers abroad in 2018
More than 140,000 Vietnamese workers went abroad in 2018. Photo by VnExpress
Vietnam’s labor exports increased by 7 percent this year, and for a fifth straight year the number of guest workers has exceeded 100,000.

Japan became the leading destination for Vietnamese workers for the first time, with more than 67,000 going there, according to figures from the Department of Overseas Labor Management under the labor ministry.

Taiwan followed with 65,000 workers, and Korea was third with more than 6,000. The other important markets were Saudi Arabia, Romania, Malaysia, and Kuwait.

In all, a record 140,000 went abroad this year.

The increasing number of guest workers ranked Vietnam among the world’s top 10 recipients of remittances last year. They were worth $13.8 billion.

According to the International Organization for Migration, around 100,000 Vietnamese leave the country every year to live in more developed nations.

The main destination for workers remains Northeast Asia, where salaries are attractive.

A Vietnamese worker can earn $1,000-1,200 a month in Japan and South Korea, four times the average salary in Vietnam, which was VND6.5 million ($290) last year.

They earn $700-800 in Taiwan and $400-$600 in the Middle East, the National Assembly's Committee for Social Affairs reported at a conference in November.

The reality of an aging, shrinking population has caused Japan to open its door to more overseas blue-collar workers, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approving draft legislation in October, a controversial policy shift in an immigration-wary country.

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