The survey, which was conducted on 3,000 workers and 157 businesses in six provinces and cities before the first round of regional minimum wage negotiations in 2024, shows that 52.3 per cent of employees work overtime with an average time of 1.75 hours per day, said Phạm Thị Thu Lan, the institute’s vice director.

Most surveyed workers volunteered to work overtime to earn extra income and improve their lives, Lan said.

In 2024, the shortage of orders is forecast to continue, as 17.2 per cent of surveyed enterprises said that the shortage of orders next year will increase compared to this year.

The basic salary, including full-time work, is more than VNĐ6 million (US$258) per month, 8.4 per cent higher than the March 2022 survey, and 37.5 per cent to 51.9 per cent higher than the regional minimum wage.

Meanwhile, the average expenditure in 2023 is VNĐ12 million ($504) per month, increasing by 19 per cent against 2022, of which expenditure for food accounts for 70 per cent.

The survey also shows that incomes of over 24 per cent of labourers meet their basic expenditure while incomes of 75.5 per cent of labourers do not meet expenditure.

According to the vice director, more than 53 per cent of the labourers said that they had to reconsider getting married or having children because of their low incomes.

Regarding accommodation, more than 23 per cent of the salary goes on rent at an average rate of VNĐ1.8 million ($75.6) per month, including electricity and water fees.

Most of the 157 surveyed enterprises develop salary scales as per the levels of regional minimum wage, while 23.4 per cent of the enterprises cut off allowances for training and hazardous work.

Nguyễn Thái Dương, vice president of Việt Nam’s Textile and Garment trade union, said the union wanted the workers to have jobs and higher incomes, but the businesses have faced many difficulties.

In the first half of this year, the export turnover of the sector decreased by 20 per cent, equivalent to US$4 billion, and the number of workers who lost their jobs reached more than 600,000 people.

Therefore, this situation will affect workers' wages and the minimum wage that is about to be negotiated, said Dương.

Increasing the regional minimum wage is meaningful.

However, for people with higher salaries, such as the average salary in the textile industry of VNĐ8.8 million ($370) per month, when increasing wages, their real income does not increase, he added.

Source: VNS