Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Employment growth steady’




‘Employment growth steady’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng speaks at the National Career and Productivity Fair 2018 in Phnom Penh over the weekend. ITH SAM HENG via facebook

‘Employment growth steady’

Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng said on Saturday that the employment rate in the Kingdom currently stands at 99.3 per cent of the total workforce of nearly 10 million people – a figure dismissed by some social analysts as unrealistic.

Speaking at the National Career and Productivity Fair 2018 in Phnom Penh over the weekend, Sam Heng said the labour sector continued to grow at a steady rate.

“In 2018, the employment rate is at 99.3 per cent of the total workforce, accounting for nearly 10 million people,” he said.

He said in the formal economic sector, there are 1.5 million employees among the 12,000 enterprises registered with the Labour Ministry.

In the informal economic sector, 600,000 enterprises employed about 2.4 million people, while over four million people are employed in agriculture.

There are currently 1.2 million migrant workers employed abroad, whereas the number of civil servants stands at 500,000.

“Constant economic growth has enabled the government to further develop and extend the social security system known as the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for employees. The aim is to ensure better job security and income for them and their families.

“The NSSF covers labour risks and healthcare for employees in the formal economic sector and is fully contributed by employers as required by Samdech [Hun Sen] since January this year,” he said, adding that employees in the informal economic sector can use equity funds.

The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union president Ath Thun took issue with the minister’s claims.

He said many people are unemployed, among them scholars and university students. And even if they were employed, he said their jobs were not of economic significance.

“The 90 per cent employment rate figure provided by the government includes vendors, moto-taxi and tuk-tuk drivers and people who run small businesses. The government should not focus on that too much,” he said.

Thun said the government should take a more realistic approach if it wanted to boost employment in the Kingdom.

He called for the creation of a business-friendly environment that provided youths and local enterprises a chance to foster entrepreneurship and subsequently create more jobs.

He said such an approach could draw skilled workers to local enterprises, which in turn increased productivity and discouraged them from migrating to other countries for jobs.

Tun Sophorn, national coordinator for the International Labour Organisation in Cambodia, supported Thun’s position.

He said the government should put more focus on the economic significance of their employment.

“The quality of their job is a matter of utmost importance . . . Unemployment statistics are low but among the workforce aged 15 to 65, the problem is not unemployment itself. It boils down to the quality of employment,” he said.

He said there are still many poor people in the Kingdom. Although they are employed, they still live below the poverty line. Sophorn urged the government to provide more social and legal protection for those who are employed in the informal economic sector.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.