Nov 21, 2012

Vietnam - More people turn up for jobless allowances

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HCMC – While the jobless rate announced by the General Statistics Office has fallen, the number of laborers registering for unemployment benefits is growing strongly.

According to the General Statistics Office, the percentage of jobless people of working age was 2.17% in the first nine months of the year, versus 2.22% in 2011 and 2.8% in 2010, meaning the rate has been dropping over the years.

Nguyen Van Xe, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, estimated the jobless rate in HCMC at 4.9%, a 0.2 percentage point lower than the same period last year. However, job creation for the unemployed is in a downturn this year due to economic woes, he said.

However, only the number of people registering for unemployment benefits faithfully reflects the actual situation.

Some 423,000 people nationwide registered for unemployment benefits in the first nine months of the year, with 345,000 of them having received decisions for unemployment insurance coverage. The number of people registering as jobless in the first nine months was equal to nearly 50% of the total number since 2010, said Le Quang Trung, deputy director of the Department of Employment under Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

He ascribed the sudden increase this year to the bigger number of jobless insurance participants and the number of qualified people. In addition, relocation of pollution-causing production facilities to the outskirts results in many laborers quitting their jobs.

“But the most important reason is still the difficult economic situation, with mounting inventories and weakened purchasing power, forcing a lot of enterprises to shut down and disband, or to lay off their staff to cut costs,” said Trung,

In HCMC, the number of people registering for unemployment benefits reached almost 100,000 in the first nine months, in which 8% had a monthly income of VND7 million or above, according to the HCMC Job Introduction Center.

The number of people coming to the center to look for jobs has been surging, while recruitment demand of companies is falling.

Thanh Thuong - The Saigon Times Daily

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