1.07 million Vietnamese workers were unemployed in the third quarter of 2017, according to the latest bulletin on labour market released by Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) on December 26 last year. This figure indicated a decrease of 6,800 workers compared with the previous quarter and 42,900 compared with the same period last year.
While the overall unemployment rate of people of working age fell to 2.21 percent, the number of unemployed workers with bachelor’s degree was increasing. The data noted an increase by 53,900 compared with the second quarter of 2017 to 237,000. Under this category, the unemployment rate increased from 3.63 percent in Q2 to 4.51 percent in Q3, Vietnam Net reports.
When asked if MOLISA had plans to conduct re-training for unemployed bachelor’s degree graduates, Minister Dao Ngoc Dung that many solutions are needed to deal with current unemployment. He added that instead of MOLISA, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) should be responsible for training quality. As MOLISA provides data to assess the employment situation, job demand, and number of unemployed workers, MOET will determine the training scale based on job demands.
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Regarding to this matter, deputy head of the Institute of Labor Science and Social Affairs, Luu Quang Tuan commented that there might be several reasons why about 237,000 workers with bachelor’s degree were unemployed. Training quality, Vietnam’s economic development, as well as the lack of information about the labor market and the imbalance in supply and demand are among the most significant variables that led to high number of unemployment.
He believed that the major problem lies in the imbalance between supply and demand. As an analyst noted, university students usually graduate at certain times of year, which explains why the number of unemployed bachelor’s degree graduates increases at certain times.
Additionally, the increasingly high percentage of unemployed university graduates is also attributed to the large training scale, given that many new universities were established in the country for the last few years. A report showed that there now 412 universities and junior colleges in Vietnam, meaning that each province or city has about 6 or 7 schools. On the other hand, while enterprises have high demand for technically skilled workers for production lines, training establishments often offer bachelor’s degree graduates with theoretical knowledge only.
Mr Tuan also said that current high unemployment rate among bachelor’s degree graduates has relations to labor demand of the national economy. According to him, the number of Vietnamese workers exported abroad in the last three years has been increasing rapidly. In the past, only 70,000-80,000 workers were sent abroad a year, but the figure now has reached to 100,000. Although most exported workers do not own bachelor’s degrees, they are practically skilled technical workers. Most of those workers go to Singapore and Japan.
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