The severe and prolonged fourth wave of Covid-19 has seriously affected the Vietnamese labour market, pushing the rate and number of underemployed people in the third quarter this year to the highest level in the past 10 years.
The information was released at a seminar held on October 12 in Hanoi on the labour market in the third quarter of this year, by the General Statistics Office (GSO).
“More than 1.8 million people of working age were underemployed in the third quarter of this year, an increase of 700,000 compared to the previous quarter and an increase of 620,000 over the same period last year,” said Pham Hoai Nam, director of the GSO’s population and labour statistics department.
The underemployment rate of people of working age in urban areas is higher than in rural areas, reaching 5.33 per cent and 3.94 per cent, respectively.
“This is different from the common trend observed in our country with underemployment in rural areas often more severe than in urban areas,” Nam said.
According to the GSO, more than 1.7 million people of working age were unemployed in the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 532,200 compared to the previous quarter and an increase of 449,600 compared to the same period last year.
Unemployment is a situation when a person seeking a job is unable to find one. Underemployment is a situation when a person is working but isn’t working at his full capability.
Nam said that the complicated developments of the fourth wave of Covid-19 and the prolonged social distancing period in many localities had pushed the unemployment rate in the third quarter far beyond the usual two per cent figure.
The unemployment rate of people of working age was 5.54 per cent, up 2.18 percentage points from the previous quarter and 1.6 percentage points over the same period last year.
In particular, the unemployment rate of young people aged 15-24 in the third quarter was 8.89 per cent, an increase of 1.42 percentage points compared to the previous quarter and an increase of 0.75 percentage points over the same period last year. That rate in urban areas was 12.71 per cent, 5.56 percentage points higher than in rural areas.
In the first nine months of 2021, the number of unemployed people of working age was more than 1.3 million people, up by 126,5000 compared to the same period last year. The unemployment rate of people of working age was 2.99 per cent, up 0.35 percentage points over the same period last year. The unemployment rate in urban areas was 4.02 per cent, 1.64 percentage points higher than in rural areas.
In nine months, the unemployment rate of young people between 15-24 years old was 7.9 per cent, up 0.13 percentage points over the same period last year. That rate in urban areas was 10.79 per cent, up 0.26 percentage points over the same period last year.
“The labour market is facing a serious crisis with a series of negative records being set, millions of workers have lost their jobs, their incomes have been cut. It is now more difficult for workers to find jobs than ever before,” said Nam.
“This fact has posed great challenges for the government in its efforts to achieve the growth targets for 2021.
“The government needs to focus on promoting a wide-scale vaccination strategy, using all resources to provide enough Covid-19 vaccines for the people to create a community immunity mechanism as soon as possible. Support packages for businesses and workers need to be rolled out soon to help them recover from the pandemic.”
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK