HCMC short of unskilled labor

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Volunteers at a bus station in Ho Chi Minh City hold banners offering free job search guidance to youngsters coming in from other provinces

Enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City are short of manual labor as the unskilled workforce has largely become skilled in search of well-paid jobs in a country with a per capital income of US$1,540.

HCMC this month needs some ten thousand manual and unskilled workers, or half of the city's total labor demand.

In April the ratio was 43 percent, up 7.3 percentage points from the previous month.

Enterprises in textiles, small industries and handicrafts employ half of such manual workers.

The increasing demand of blue-collar labor notwithstanding, HCMC has seen a decline in jobseekers, said Nguyen Van Sang, deputy director of Yes Center which offers job search help and training programs.

He said that recruiting manual labor is even harder than professional employees. His center is facing difficulties finding nearly 120 textile workers.

Workers in HCMC want to earn more and they have tended to improve their skills and seek skilled jobs with higher salaries, he said.

Pham Xuan Hong, vice chairman of the textile and garment association in HCMC, said his industry is also finding it difficult to hire ten percent more workers to meet the demands of expanded operations.

The representative of a job search website in Tan Phu District, who requested anonymity, told VnExpress the website sought 60 workers for manual positions last month but only half the expected number of jobseekers applied.

Nguyen Tan Dinh, deputy chief of a unit managing industrial zones in HCMC, said workers are most concerned about salaries when applying for a job.

The average wages for workers in industrial zones range from VND3.5-4.5 million ($167-191) per month.

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