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This issue was addressed by a panel of experts at a recent dialogue on Vietnam’s labor market in the integration process co-hosted by the Government Portal and the Bureau of Employment under the Ministry of Labor, War-Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), six more million new jobs will be created by 2025 when Vietnam becomes involved in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) accounting for 10% of total job creation within ASEAN, mostly in areas such as rice production, construction, transport, garments and textiles, and food processing.

In terms of the overall picture of Vietnam’s labor market in 2017, MOLISA Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep said the domestic labor market has not seen substantial changes compared to last year.

The number of wage workers has risen slightly with the rate of employees in the workforce being kept at 76%.

The overall unemployment rate stood at 2%, while urban unemployment remained at 3% and there has been a slight decrease in youth unemployment from 7.86% in the third quarter of 2016 to 7.63% in the same period of 2017.

Mr. Diep noted that the highlight of the domestic labor market has been the rapid restructuring of labour divisions with percentage of workers involved in the agro-forestry-seafood sector dropping to 40.4% (nearly meeting the set target of being below 40% by 2020).

There is a need for the labor sector to rectify any shortcomings in the next year by ensuring that jobs are provided for unemployed university degree holders.

The number of jobless workers with a higher education qualification or above surged from 138,800 in the first quarter to 183,100 in the second quarter of 2017, showing that at present there are many skilled yet unemployed workers who are an untapped resource for the labour market.

According to the ILO, the quality of human resources in Vietnam remains low when compared to international levels as the country still has a shortage of highly skilled workers and Vietnamese workers have been shown to have weaknesses in foreign languages, soft skills, team work, communications skills, discipline, and industrial working styles.

The World Bank pointed out that human resource in Vietnam only reached 3.79 points out of 10 marking scheme, ranking 11th out of the 12 Asian nations being evaluated.

The country’s global competitiveness index was 4.3 points Vietnam ranks 56th out of 140 economies in the Global Competitiveness Index 2015-2016 Rankings.

The MOLISA has made projections for the labour market in order to devise support policies for the development of the labour market, securing jobs for workers to avoid any negative impact from automation brought about by the fourth Industrial Revolution, Mr. Diep notes.

The Ministry has also dedicated relevant units to specializing in research and forecast on the employment and labor market tracking, labour trends, unofficial work, transition of workforce in the labor market, and labor productivity etc.

The labor sector’s future targets will be focused on supporting job generation towards human resource development, improving the efficiency of employment market projects in order to realize the targets set for the 2018-2020 period.

The sector has also planned to support worker migration in relocating from rural to urban areas, industrial parks and workers in border areas, create more jobs for people with disabilities, ethnic minority people, and poor women in rural while revamping unemployment insurance policies./.