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Over 30m Workers in Vietnam Impacted by Pandemic: Labor Ministry

While Vietnam has thus far avoided serious public health impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, it has not escaped the economic ravages of the global emergency.

Dan Tri reports that the country's employment challenges were discussed at a conference led by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs on June 29 in Hanoi.

According to Vu Trong Binh, head of the Department of Employment under the ministry, Vietnam's labor force participation rate dropped to its lowest point in the last decade, while the unemployment rate among working-age people is the highest in five years. Neither of these figures were shared, however.

Overall, 17.6 million have had their pay cut due to the pandemic in the first six months, while a further 7.8 million workers have either lost their job or seen their hours reduced. The service sector has been hit hardest, which is no surprise given the battering the tourism industry has taken.

The news source shares that processing factories have also seen significant impacts, as have the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. Furthermore, recruitment demand in Saigon fell by 28% in the first six months of the year, and 23% in Hanoi.

VnExpress adds additional context from the conference, reporting that an estimated 1.4 million people completely lost their job due to the pandemic, largely in the processing, retail, logistics and hospitality sectors.

Meanwhile, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits in the first half of this year rose 32% compared to the same period in 2019, reaching 565,000 individuals. Overall, the central government has paid out US$300 million in such benefits, a 40% jump from last year.

In terms of businesses, 29,200 temporarily suspended operations since January, a 38.2% increase compared to 2019.

These developments are evident in the country's recent GDP figures as well. Reuters reports that gross domestic product expanded 0.36% from April to June, the lowest rate in 30 years. The same period last year saw growth of 6.73%.

Still, given the significant economic contractions going on in other countries, the fact that Vietnam saw growth of any kind is noteworthy.

[Photo via Lao Dong]

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