Vietnam’s Labor Official Predicts 300,000 to Lose Jobs in 2009

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Jan. 6 – An official from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) predicts that the slowing Vietnamese economy could lead to job losses amounting to 300,000 jobs, or 0.65 percent of the country's labor force.

The head of Employment Division under MoLISA, Nguyen Dai Dong, said some 300,000 people might be affected by the economic slowdown.

The hardest hit will be the industrial and services sectors, which already provide about 9 million jobs while the more than 35 million working as agricultural workers should expect reduced working hours.

MoLISA has set a goal to create around 3 to 3.2 million jobs from 2009 until 2010 to maintain the urban unemployment rate under 5 percent and lessen the proportion of workers working in agriculture to under 50 percent.

The agency also says it estimates that 100,000 Vietnamese will find work abroad annually with 60 percent of them being skilled labour, and 10 percent from the poor districts.

At the start of the year, the government approved a decree on unemployment insurance to help aid the effects of the global slowdown. Depending on how long an employee has contributed to the fund, laid-off workers can avail of insurance for three to 12 months. Only employees that have signed a contract of at least 12 consecutive months are eligible for the fund.

"Unemployment insurance is needed to stabilize workers’ life and to assist them in training and finding new jobs," Nguyen Thanh Hoa, Deputy Minister of MoLISA, told Vietnam News.