Unemployment rate down, but more university grads remain jobless

VietNamNet Bridge - While the general unemployment rate is declining, the unemployment rate among bachelor’s degree graduates is on the rise.


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The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs‘ (MOLISA) Q2 labor bulletin showed that 1.08 million workers were unemployed, a decrease of 7,000 workers compared with the same period last year. 

This means that the unemployment rate among the people of working age has decreased to 2.26 percent, the lowest rate in the last five quarters.

However, the worrying problem is that the number of workers with bachelor’s degree is on the rise. There were 180,000 unemployed bachelor’s degree graduates in the second quarter, or 44,000 higher than the first quarter. 

The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs‘ (MOLISA) Q2 labor bulletin showed that 1.08 million workers were unemployed, a decrease of 7,000 workers compared with the same period last year.

The unemployment rate in this group of workers was 3.63 percent, higher than the 2.79 percent of the quarter before.

At least 93,000 workers finishing intermediate schools (2-year training) were jobless, an increase of 9,400 workers. The unemployment rate decrease was only seen among those who finished junior colleges (3-year training).

The bulletin also showed a surprising characteristic of the labor market: that workers with elementary training had monthly income of VND6.04 million, which was even higher than those who finished intermediate schools and junior colleges.

Labor experts have recently begun talking about ‘voluntary unemployment’. The voluntarily unemployed workers include bachelor’s degree graduates who still have not found good jobs in their majors and with their desired salaries.

Once again, the MOLISA report showed an upward tendency in the unemployment rate among workers with higher education levels. There were 190,900 unemployed university graduates in the first quarter of 2016, up 22.8 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2015.

The increasingly high percentage of unemployed university graduates is attributed to the large training scale, with many new universities established in recent years.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Quang from Hanoi Economics University, Vietnam now has 412 universities and junior colleges, which means each province/city has 6.6 schools. 

There are 2.2 million university and junior college students out of 90 million people, a proportion even higher than in developed countries.

In the face of the increased unemployment rate among bachelor’s degree graduates, MOLISA plans to send workers abroad.

Under the plan, more than 54,000 unemployed workers completing university, junior college and intermediate school would be sent to Japan, South Korea and Germany.

In the first phase, in 2018-2020, Vietnam plans to send 14,700 workers to Germany, where they will work as nurses and IT engineers or in the electronics & telecommunication sectors, or physical and biological technology sector.

Another 39,000 workers would be sent to the three markets in 2021-2025. Meanwhile, workers in beauty care, hotels & restaurants, mechanical engineering and construction would be sent to ASEAN and UAE markets.


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Thanh Mai

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