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New report reveals trends and important emerging issues in Viet Nam’s labour market

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Viet Nam has a relatively high employment-to-population ratio, with almost 75 percent of those aged 15 and above in employment.
Ha Noi, 24 January 2011 
– A new report on Viet Nam's labour market was launched today providing analysis of the latest information and assessing the impact of the economic challenges that the country has faced in recent years. The Vietnam Employment Trends 2010 report, prepared with technical support from the International Labour Organization (ILO), analyses the most updated information available to assess the effects of the financial crisis on jobs and working conditions in Vietnam, and discusses projections of how the labour market situation here might evolve in the years ahead.  Beginning as a crisis in the financial markets, the global financial crisis soon affected labour markets and continues to affect working people, families and communities around the world.  

All around the world people feel economic change, and the effects of globalization, primarily through their work. Employment is not just about having a job, it is also about the quality of employment that provides sufficient income to keep workers and their families out of poverty, especially in times of economic instability.

Looking at Vietnam's employed population, several important trends were detected during this period. It is important to note that there was an increase in the labour force participation between years of 2007 and 2009, due to people joining the labour force in the face of financial instability. However, the report's detailed analysis shows a more complex situation with both achieved gains and emerging challenges.

Importantly for the fight against poverty—and for progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals—the objectives of the Decent Work Agenda are being achieved. The proportion of vulnerable employment nationwide decreased by 4.3 percentage points. However, increases in unpaid family work (4.0 percentage points) during this same period went against a declining overall trend in vulnerable employment.

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Mme Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs speaking at the launch of the Vietnam Employment Trends Report 2010

The research shows that for the moment the largest sector of employment in Vietnam remains, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, with employment of nearly 23 million in 2008. However this figure is set to decline to a projected level of 21.1 million by 2020, as the economy shifts towards higher value-added, and more technology- and capital-intensive industries and service sectors. Analysis underscores the fact that better qualified, and more highly skilled workers will be needed to fuel this shift, and consequently Vietnam's growth as a successful middle-income country.

Detailed, sector-specific studies reveal that Industry, Services and Agriculture sectors grew at an average rate of 6.7 percent between 2007 and 2009, however a closer focus on labour productivity will be required in these sectors to ensure that the economy will create and sustain decent jobs with reasonable pay.

The Vietnam Employment Trends 2010, is part of an annually published series that impacts the decisions of policy makers and investors alike. The 2010 report will serve as the scientific foundation for national labour market and education strategies for 2011-2015 and the socio-economic development strategy until 2020. The report is published by the National Centre of Labour Market Forecast and Information, with technical support from ILO experts under the EU/MOLISA/ILO 'Labour Market Project' funded by European Union.

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Guests at the launch: (from the left) Mr Allaster Cox –Australian Ambassador; Ms Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, Director of ILO Country Office for Viet Nam; Mme Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; Mr Sean Doyle, Ambassador of EU Delegation to Viet Nam; Mr Nguyen Thanh Hoa, Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; Ms Nguyen Hai Van, Deputy Director of Bureau of Employment (MoLISA), Mr Hans Farhammer, Counselor (Cooperation) of EU Delegation to Viet Nam, Mr John Stewart ILO Labour Market Information Specialist and Mr Nguyen Dai Dong, Director General of Bureau of Employment (MoLISA)

For more information contact:
Ms. Lê Thị Hương Liên | Communication Officer | ILO Office in Viet Nam
Tel: +84-4-37340902 ext 206 | Mob: +84-(0)913237328 | Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.