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Over five million employees lose jobs due to Covid-19

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HCMC – Multiple businesses in Vietnam suspended or scaled down their operations, and over five million employees nationwide lost their jobs, were furloughed or had their working hours and salaries reduced in the first five months of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Van Thanh said during a teleconference on June 3.

Some 86% of firms in the local market were particularly hit, with their employees, mainly active in the processing, retail, logistics, transport, lodging, food service and tourism fields, being laid off or furloughed.

A survey showed that from January to April, active workers accounted for 75.4% of people of working age, the lowest in 10 years.

Stating that in May, the number of employees returning to work rose by 70,000-80,000, the deputy minister stressed that firms still saw challenges due to stagnant export markets.

Addressing the event, Nguyen Thi Quyen, deputy director of the Department of Employment under the ministry, said that during the five-month period, over 430,000 people applied for unemployment allowances, which skyrocketed by 128% year-on-year.

From now until the end of the year, if the virus shows signs of easing, the local labor market might see 70,000-80,000 employees lose their jobs each month, Quyen said.

If Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, takes a turn for the worse, 80,000-90,000 workers will be unemployed each month. In the worst-case scenario, up to 100,000 employees will lose their jobs.

Given the scenario, the Department of Employment has mapped out various solutions to support employers and employees and avoid unexpected layoffs.

The Government is also mooting spending VND3-5 trillion from the Unemployment Insurance Fund to retrain laborers to improve their skills and change their jobs, Thanh noted.

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