The number of people losing their jobs to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may reach 500,000 in Ho Chi Minh City in the coming months, according to the municipal Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs.
A total of 327,952 citizens became jobless in the first six months of 2020, the department’s director Le Minh Tan told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday, adding that 90,041 of them have signed up for unemployment assistance.
A survey revealed that 13,933 businesses were affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, accounting for 85.4 percent of the respondents.
The labor official predicted two possible scenarios that may happen in the second half of this year.
If the epidemic continues to worsen, such services as accommodations, catering, tourism, and transportation and industries as textile, footwear, apparel, wood processing, food processing, and construction will face a lot of difficulties.
In this case, another 4,800-5,000 businesses will be affected and 160,000-180,000 more people will lose their jobs, which means the number of workers who are made unemployed by COVID-19 will reach 500,000 in the city.
If the pandemic is under control, businesses will have more opportunities to boost their operations, thus reducing unemployment rates.
However, certain fields will still suffer the negative impact of the epidemic due to limited imports and exports.
About 4,400 more companies will be hit and 100,000-120,000 more employees may have to stop working in this scenario.
The municipal Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs will coordinate with management boards of local industrial parks and export processing zones, as well as district-level administrations to monitor the situation and provide necessary support.
The labor department said it will listen to businesses regarding the challenges they are facing and to employees before giving advice on the most viable solution.
It will also make sure laid-off laborers receive suitable support and benefita, while asking firms to establish policies that prioritize older employees, pregnant women, and workers in dire straits.