More than 162,000 university graduates in Vietnam failed to find jobs in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 4,000 people from the fourth quarter of 2013, according to statistics released Tuesday by labor authorities.
The latest figure is equivalent to 4.14 percent of the total number of university graduates and post graduates in Vietnam.
Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, told the press that the overall unemployment rate remained at 2.21 percent in the first quarter of this year, slightly higher than the fourth quarter of 2013 (1.9 percent). The group with the highest unemployment rate was untrained workers, followed by university graduates.
Nguyen Ba Ngoc, deputy director of the Institute of Labor, Science and Social Affairs, said about one fifth of people aged 20-24 with a university or higher degrees were unemployed.
Diep said restructuring and layoffs have contributed to high unemployment among highly qualified people.
In the first quarter of this year, the construction sector led the trend by laying off 488,000 workers, followed by the engineering industry which laid off 257,000 and the retail and wholesale sector, which laid off 218,000.
Gyorgy Sziraczki, director of the International Labor Organization’s Country Office for Vietnam, said while Vietnam’s unemployment rate is lower than other countries in the region and the world, the quality of jobs and labor productivity in Vietnam are also lower.