In the morning, October 06th, 2020, the General Statistics Office (GSO) held a press conference to announce the report on labour f and employment of the third quarter and 9 months of 2020. Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong – Director General of GSO chaired the press conference. Delegates attending this event were Ms. Valentina Barcucci, Deputy Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office in Vietnam in Hanoi; representatives of ministries, line ministries and representatives of radio and television news agencies in Hanoi.

At the conference, the GSO announced the statistics on labour and employment of the third quarter and 9 months of 2020 and the report on the impacts of the Covid-19 epidemic on labour and employment situation in Vietnam. Accordingly, the outbreak of acute respiratory infections caused by a new strain of the Corona virus (Covid-19) that exploded and continued its global spread has heavily affected the socio-economic development of countries around the world, causing the global economy to almost “hit the bottom” in the second quarter. However, the third quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarter, the economy is showing a rebound. The employment and employee income in the third quarter of 2020 also witnessed improvement relative to the previous quarter, but the employment and income indicators of the third quarter and the average nine months of the year still decreased in comparison with the same periods last year.

As of September 2020, there were 31.8 million people aged 15 and over negatively affected by Covid-19, including those who lost their jobs, went on furlough/took time off work alternately, reduced working hours, suffered income reduction, etc. Of these, 68.9% of people suffered income reduction, albeit to a small degree; nearly 40.0% reduced working hours/took time off work alternately/worked in alternate schedules and about 14.0% went on furlough or suspended their business activities. The labour force aged 15 and over in the third quarter of 2020 was 54.6 million people, an increase of 1.4 million people from the previous quarter but still 1.1 million people lower than the same period last year. This shows that, following the record low decline in the second quarter of 2020, the labour market is showing signs of recovery, but has not yet been able to recover to the state of the same period last year.

Employed workers aged 15 and over in the third quarter of 2020 increased 1.5 million people compared to the previous quarter and mainly in the informal workers group. The number of underemployed people increased 560.4 thousand people over the same period last year. Underemployment is not only concentrated in agriculture, forestry and fishery sector as in previous quarters, but also increased in industry, construction and services sectors.

The working-age unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2020 is 2.50%, of which, urban areas was 4.0%, down 0.46 percentage points from the previous quarter and up 0.89 percentage points compared to the same period last year. The working-age unemployment rate of the urban area in the third quarter although decreased over the second quarter but remained at the highest level in the past 10 years compared to the same period last year. Generally, in 9 months of 2020, the working-age unemployment rate was 2.48%, 0.31 percentage points higher than the same period last year, of which the urban area was 3.88%, up 0.78 percentage points over the same period last year.

Employees’ income in the third quarter of 2020 improved against the previous quarter but still decreased against the same period last year. Overall, in the 9 months of 2020, the average monthly income of the informal workers was 1.5 times lower than that of the formal workers.

The 2020 Labour Force Survey findings reveal that workers continue to be negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. They are at the same time important resources contributing to the economic recovery and development in the coming time. The General Statistics Office recommends solutions to focus on the content as follows:

(1) Continue the implementation of the financial relief packages as specified in the Resolution No. 42/NQ-CP of the Government in a timely, efficient and correct manner. Focus on support for various groups of workers, both informal and formal, across enterprises and production and business entities.

(2) Conduct research to devise special support packages specifically for vulnerable groups, including female workers, those without technical or professional qualifications and informal workers so that they can quickly find jobs and contribute their parts to the economic recovery and development.

 (3) Strengthen the effective implementation of enabling policies in support of enterprises and production and business entities to recover economic activities across all industrial sectors, especially those significantly affected by Covid-19. This includes the implementation of the support policies related to on-the-job trainings delivered at the workplace.

          At the press conference, representatives of the GSO answered questions from reporters about labour and employment issues under the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic and forcasted about labour and employment situation in the last months of 2020.

-Nguyen Huong-