The General Statistics Office (GSO) of Vietnam said on Friday an estimated five million workers and nearly 85 percent of companies in the country were negatively affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the first quarter of 2020.
Turbulence was observed in the Vietnamese labor market in Q1 2020 and the first 4 months of 2020, said Vu Thi Thu Thuy from the Population and Labor Statistics Department under GSO.
The employment rate plummeted to a five-year low due to the impacts of COVID-19 which started in January, she said.
Q1 2020 saw the total unemployment count reaching 1.1 million, a rise of 26,000 or 2.2 percent year-on-year.
There were 55.3 million people aged 15 and above in Vietnam during the same period.
Rises in the unemployment rate were found to be disproportionate between geographies: urban areas saw a 3.18 percent jump while the increase in rural areas was only 1.73 percent.
Most notably, around 493,000 people aged 15-24 were jobless, accounting for 44 percent of all unemployment cases.
The unemployment rate among people aged 15-24 was 5.4 times higher than that among those aged 25 and above.
The three opening months of 2020 saw the average worker in Vietnam earn VND6.2 million (US$264.7) monthly.
Specifically, male workers averaged VND7.1 million ($303.1) in monthly income while their female counterparts settled at VND5.1 million (US$217.7).
VND8.2 million ($350) was the average monthly wage for an urban worker, outnumbering the VND5.2 million ($222) that an average rural dweller earned a month.
|Vietnam's General Statistics Office Deputy Director Pham Quang Vinh announces latest findings on the Vietnamese labor market at a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 24, 2020. Photo: T.C. / Tuoi Tre|
Five million workers lose jobs, furloughed
The GSO report was compiled from the results of a survey on 131,000 business as well as COVID-19 impact reports from 59 provinces and cities in Vietnam.
It found that nearly five million wage earners in Vietnam had either lost their jobs or been furloughed because of the COVID-19 pandemic by mid-April.
Among them, 1.2 million people were in the manufacturing and processing industry, 1.1 million worked in retail and commerce, and 740,000 were in hospitality.
According to GSO Deputy Director Pham Quang Vinh, 84.8 percent of the surveyed businesses said they are suffering due to COVID-19.
Large- and medium-sized companies were considered more vulnerable to the current pandemic than small and very small businesses.
Sixty-seven percent of the surveyed enterprises said they had resorted to lay-offs, furloughs and wage cuts to cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.