|Workers submit their resumes at a local employment introduction centre in Quang Binh Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
HA NOI (VNS) — Thousands of workers lost their jobs this year as companies closed en masse, creating a rise in unemployment that isn't expected to end any time soon.
Hundreds of people register for unemployment insurance through the Ha Noi Employment Introduction Centre every day. In the first 10 months of the year, more than 27,600 people came to the employment centre to register for unemployment insurance, a 20 per cent increase from last year, said Nguyen Toan Phong, director of the centre. During the same period, the centre spent VND178.8 billion (US$8.5 million) on unemployment benefits.
Nguyen Thi Kim Loan, head of centre's unemployment insurance board, said economic difficulties have caused the rise in unemployment.
The equitisation of state-owned companies has also contributed to the problem, according to Phong.
Those who sought benefits vary in age and profession, but most worked for private companies. As much as 40 per cent of them have graduated from colleges and universities, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The majority worked in processing, electronics, garments and textiles, either in industrial parks, foreign-invested firms or export processing zones.
Living on dole
Le Hong Duc, 35, from Ha Noi's Hai Ba Trung district, made VND4 million (US$190) per month as a technological worker at the Big C supermarket. But in June the firm started to downsize, leaving him unemployed, he said. Now he is living off of VND2 million (US$95) per month from unemployment benefits.
Duc said that despite his experience, it wasn't easy to find another job because companies usually didn't recruit at the end of the year.
Pham Thi Thuy, 27, from the northern province of Thai Binh, used to work for Duoc Khoa Company in Ha Noi. She said she had been living on unemployment since September, and in the meantime had to take a job as a household assistant.
During the past few months, a number of companies in Ha Noi have downsized their manufacturing efforts and let go of employees. Macallan Company moved its office and cut 500 jobs, and Viglacera Joint-stock Company cut 100 jobs due to a lack of work. — VNS