Over 1.4 million people became unemployed in 2021 due to COVID-19

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A labourer at a counter for unemployment insurance at the Job Services Centre in the northern province of Sơn La. — VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Quyết

HÀ NỘI — More than 1.4 million Vietnamese became unemployed in 2021, up 203,700 from the previous year, or 17 per cent, due to the impacts of the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, data from the General Statistics Office (GSO) showed.

The new strategy on flexibly living with the pandemic allowed the labour market to rebound in the final quarter of last year, GSO Deputy General Director Nguyễn Trung Tiến told a press conference announcing labour data in Q4 of 2021 and Việt Nam’s Human Development Index from 2016 to 2020 held in Hà Nội late last week.

The workforce of 15 years old and above reached 50.7 million in Q4, an increase of 1.7 million or 3.47 per cent from the previous quarter.

The workforce participation rate was 67.7 per cent in the last quarter of 2021, up 2.1 percentage points quarter-on-quarter but down 2.6 percentage points year-on-year. The rate was higher in rural areas (69.3 per cent) than urban areas (65.3 per cent).

Compared to Q3, the number of workers in the informal sector rose by 7.4 per cent to 19.4 million in Q4.

“It is obvious that the labour market was recovering but the recovery was not sustainable,” Tiến said.

The workforce of 15 years old and above in 2021 was 50.5 million, down 791,600 from 2020. The urban workforce reached 18.6 million, accounting for 36.8 per cent of the total. There were 23.5 million female workers nationwide, representing 46.5 per cent of the workforce.

According to the GSO, monthly income averaged VNĐ5.3 million (US$232.91) in Q4, up VNĐ139,000 quarter-on-quarter but down VNĐ624,000 year-on-year. The average monthly income was VNĐ5.7 million for the whole year, down VNĐ32,000 year-on-year.

HDI improvements in 2016 – 2020

Việt Nam’s Human Development Index (HDI) advanced to 0.706 in 2020 from 0.682 in 2016, enabling the country to join the High Human Development group, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

A report on HDI from 2016 – 2020 of the office said the index’s indicators saw improvements during the period, said Nguyễn Thị Thanh Mai from the GSO.

The health indicator edged up to 0.826 in 2020 from 0.822 in 2016; education to 0.640 from 0.628; and income to 0.664 from 0.624, respectively, she cited.

Generally, Việt Nam’s HDI has been improving but still at a slow pace, Mai said, adding that the country ranked seventh out of the 11 countries in Southeast Asia regarding this matter. — VNS

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