Vietnam job losses rise 70 pct

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The Vietnamese labor ministry reported Wednesday that there has been a nearly 70 percent increase in job losses in the first four months of this year due to shut-downs and business slowdown in the troubled economy.

Le Quang Trung, deputy director of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs's Employment Department, said at a meeting in Hanoi that more businesses have been closing down or cutting back on operations, especially in construction, real estate, and food processing.

This has caused 171,639 people to lose their jobs, 68 percent more than in the same period last year, as nearly 18,000 businesses announced bankruptcy this year, a 9.5 increase year-on-year.

The number is based on registrations for unemployment insurance, Trung said.

Most of the job losses (30 percent) were reported in Ho Chi Minh City, followed by 20 percent in Binh Duong and 10 percent in Dong Nai, both neighboring provinces with a large number of industrial zones.

Women accounted for around 60 percent of the number.

The unemployment insurance fund, which has VND46.638 trillion (US$2.24 million), would be enough to pay 7.9 million people registered so far, he said.

In the whole of last year 335,901 jobs were lost.

The ministry has urged city and provincial governments to look into the unemployment situation to provide necessary support to the jobless.

It has also called for increasing the apprenticeship subsidy.

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