20 pct of unemployed Vietnamese are university graduates: labor ministry

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University students look for employment opportunities at an event in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh/Tuoi Tre University students look for employment opportunities at an event in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh/Tuoi Tre

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The number of university graduates unable to find a job has been increasing in Vietnam and now accounts for one fifth of the country's unemployed workforce, according to new data released by the labor ministry.
The ministry said 225,500 people with a bachelor's or master's degree are currently without a job, up 13.3 percent from the last quarter.  
Duong Duc Lan, director of the Vocational Training Department at the labor ministry, suggested that the country may have more degree holders than it needs. 
Vietnam has around one million high school graduates every year and only around 3 percent of them go to vocational schools, while most others only want a college degree, Lan said. 
But Dr. Hoang Ngoc Vinh, director of the Professional Education Department at the education ministry, said the unemployment problem might come from the quality of university education, rather than the surplus of university graduates.
Vinh said around 25-30 percent of the labor force in developed countries are university graduates. In Vietnam that ratio is only 7 percent.
“The quality of university graduates may have not met the demands of the labor market,” he said, as cited by Tuoi Tre.
The ministry said the national unemployment rate is now 2.35 percent.
A survey conducted by the ministry in Hanoi found unemployment is particularly high in the administrative, accounting and auditing job segments.

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