Unemployment, underemployment unprecedentedly high

The number of employed people in Q3/2021 fell sharply compared to the previous quarter and the same period of last year, while unemployment and underemployment rates increased to an all-time high.

Báo động: Thất nghiệp và thiếu việc làm cao chưa từng thấy
Thousands of migrant workers leave pandemic-hit southern provinces to return home. Photo: Pham Hai

On October 12, the General Statistics Office announced the employment situation in the third quarter and the January-September period of 2021.

According to the report, the labor force aged 15 and over in Q3/2021 was 49.1 million people, a decrease of 2 million people compared to the previous quarter and a reduction of 2.2 million people compared to the same period of last year.

"Affected by the complicated development of the fourth Covid-19 outbreak, the workforce was at the lowest level since the pandemic broke out," the General Statistics Office noted.

The Covid-19 epidemic not only affected the formal sector, but also spread to the informal sector. Workers no longer had the opportunity to find informal jobs as usual. Many workers were unable to find jobs, including temporary jobs during this period.

In Q3/2021, the number of officially employed workers was 15.1 million people, down 468,900 people compared to the previous quarter and 657,000 people year on year. The number of employees with informal employment out of the agriculture, forestry, and fishery sectors was 18.0 million, down 2.9 million from the previous quarter and 2.7 million over the same period of last year.

The fourth Covid-19 epidemic, which is complicated, spreads quickly and lasts for a long time, made the increase of the number of underemployed people in Q3/2021 to the highest level in the past 10 years.

The number of underemployed people in this period was more than 1.8 million people, an increase of 700,300 people compared to Q2/2021 and 620,000 over the same period of last year.

 

The underemployment rate of working-age workers in urban areas was higher than in rural areas (5.33% and 3.94% respectively). This is different from the common trend on the labor market before, as the underemployment rate in rural areas was often higher than in urban areas, according to the General Statistics Office.

The number of unemployed people of working age in Q3/2021 was more than 1.7 million people, an increase of 532,200 people compared to the previous quarter and 449,600 people compared to the same period of 2020.

According to the General Statistics Office, the average monthly income of employees in this period stood at VND5.2 million ($250), a reduction of VND877,000 ($40) from the previous quarter and VND603,000 ($30) year on year.

In Q3/2021, most economic sectors recorded a decrease in the average income of workers compared to the previous quarter. Employees in the service sector were the hardest hit with a reduction of VND1 million/month, equivalent to a decrease of 14.3% over the previous quarter. 

Some alarming indicators of labor and employment in January-September 2021:

- The labor force aged 15 and over reached 50.4 million people, a decrease of 250,000 people compared to the same period of last year.

- More than 1.3 million people were underemployed, an increase of 187,200 people compared to Q3/2020.

- Laborers aged 15 and over who were employed numbered 49.0 million people, down by 388,200 people year on year.

- The average monthly income is VND5.9 million, almost equivalent to the same period in 2020.

- The number of unemployed people of working age is more than 1.3 million people, an increase of 126,500 people compared to the same period of 2020.

 Luong Bang 

The biggest decline in VN labor market in a decade

The biggest decline in VN labor market in a decade

The Covid-19 pandemic caused turbulence in Vietnam's labor market in 2020. 

 
 

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