Building stable labour supply chain a key solution to post-pandemic recovery

Building stable labour supply chains with labourers put at the centre of all policies and emphasis laid on ensuring income and social security is one of the solutions to post-pandemic economic recovery.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Van Thanh said at a seminar in the framework of the 4th Vietnam Economic Forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 5 that the pandemic has left negative effects on the labour market and labourers’ jobs and incomes.

Labour supply decreased sharply while the number of labourers with jobs dropped to the lowest level for many years. The number of labourers with jobs stood at 49.07 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, down 1.79 million from one year ago.  

The unemployment rate peaked in Q3 of 2021 to 3.98%, equivalent to over 1.7 million people. The rate in urban areas reached a record 5.54% in the same quarter.

Average monthly incomes of labourers dropped from VND6.7 million in 2019 to VND5.3 million in 2021.

In particular, there has been a reverse trend in the labour structure, with 1.3 million labourers moving from urban areas to rural areas and from big economic hubs to localities.

The Deputy Minister said although most sectors and fields have entered the recovery period and begun to record growth again, labour supply remains limited, unable to meet demand, especially the demand for skilled personnel.  

Some localities and industries are facing labour shortage, particularly textile-garment, electronic assembling, wood processing, and tourism and education.  

Vice Chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour Ngo Duy Hieu underlined the need to create a favourable environment for the labour market to recover and develop, calling for early reform of policies on wage, social security, social housing.

He also suggested reforming policies on investment attraction to prevent the concentration of too many investment projects in a locality, which puts pressure on the local infrastructure while causing local labour shortage.

Vice Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc shared the city’s experience in keeping labourers. He said taking care of labourers’ life, both material and spiritual, during the pandemic has helped workers stay with their employers, allowing enterprises to quickly resume operation and avoid disruption in labour supply.

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