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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  5 September 2014  

VN economic recovery spawns more jobs

Viet Nam's economic recovery has led to a decline in the country's unemployment rate, according to a report released by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA)  the day before yesterday.

The report on labour market updates covering the first half of 2014 provides forecasts and analyses based on the latest data from the General Statistics Office (GSO). It reveals that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of the year was 5.2 per cent, which was higher than the 5 per cent GDP registered in the first quarter of the year.

According to the report, the growth in GDP had a positive impact on the structure of the labour market and employment and led to a decline in the urban and youth unemployment rate in the second quarter.

As of July 1, overall unemployment rate was 1.84 per cent, the lowest recorded in the last five quarters. The number of unemployed people of working age stood at 871,800, a decrease of nearly 174,000 compared with that of the first quarter of this year and a decrease of 155,000 compared with that of the same period last year.

Nguyen Thi Lan Huong, director of the Institute for Labour Science and Social Affairs, noted that Viet Nam's employment-to-population ratio remained high compared with that of other countries in the region, at 76.12 per cent. As of July 1, the total workforce, or number of working people aged 15 and above, was reported to have increased by 273,000 from that of the same period last year to reach 53.7 million.

Huong pointed out, however, that the high employment-to-population ratio did not indicate quality employment. She said this ratio might simply mean that many expanding sectors have more vacancies to fill as the employers did not invest in facilities or equipment to raise productivity, resulting in savings on the hiring of additional workers.

According to the report, the economy will continue to recover, as the GSO predicted a 5.8 per cent GDP growth for the whole year.

The overall labour market is also expected to benefit with more jobs. In particular, labour demand is expected to continue rising in sectors such as manufacturing, gas and electricity production and distribution, as well as information and communications, healthcare service and social assistance.

Also, in the first half of the year, the number of jobs in agriculture, forestry and fisheries decreased while those in construction and industry increased as a result of the "impressive recovery."

Between the second quarter of last year and the second quarter of this year, the proportion of workers in agriculture, forestry and fisheries decreased from 47.14 per cent to 47.07 per cent of the total.

In contrast, the proportion of workers in construction and industry increased from 20.9 per cent to 21.1 per cent of the total, thereby contributing considerably to the country's rising number of employed.

Meanwhile, experts noted that promoting labour quality to meet the requirement of economic restructuring remained a challenge.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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