The impressive changes in Vietnamese labour market

May 29, 2023 | 16:06
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The official passage of the Law on Foreign Investment in Vietnam in 1987 is considered a historic turning point that contributes to attracting an increasing number of foreign-led enterprises into Vietnam over the years. Multinational corporations opening new branches as well as newly established foreign-backed enterprises in many fields create great demand for domestic labour, generating jobs and improving livelihoods and quality of life for Vietnamese people.
The impressive changes in Vietnamese labour market
Nguyen Xuan Son - Operations manager of Staffing and Outsourcing ManpowerGroup Vietnam

According to the results of the Labour Employment Survey in the first quarter of 2019 by the General Statistics Office, the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector had been creating jobs for around 3.8 million workers, accounting for over 7 per cent of the total labour force (over 54 million employees) and over 15 per cent of the total wage labourers (25.3 million people) in Vietnam.

In addition to creating direct jobs, the sector also indirectly created jobs for many workers in supporting industries or other businesses in the supply chain for foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs).

The average salary of employees working in FIEs is often higher than in the state sector or non-state sector. Specifically, before the pandemic, the average salary of workers in the FDI sector was $350 per month. Meanwhile, workers in the state sector had an average salary of $328/month and for the non-state sector it is $272/month.

In addition, the FDI sector has also made an important contribution to improving the quality of Vietnam’s human resources (HR) through the internal training programmes within the enterprise, or partnership with external training institutions.

Vietnam used to have a high proportion of workers engaged in traditional sectors such as agriculture or handicrafts. However, with the growing development of other fields thanks to foreign investment, the proportion of labourers engaged in traditional occupations has decreased significantly, especially in provinces/cities.

Labour is now concentrated in processing and manufacturing of food, textiles, footwear, and electronics, as well as accommodation services and tourism, and financial services, among others.

The domestic labour market is becoming more and more vibrant, developing in both quantity and quality, attracting foreign capital flows to Vietnam.

The impressive changes in Vietnamese labour market

Employees will continue to have higher and higher expectations for employers. Salary is no longer a top priority, but other factors such as learning and growth opportunities, benefits, and flexibility. With arising new technology and the changing labour market demands, the recruitment market will be more competitive. Enterprises, including FIEs, will have to make more efforts in building employer brands as well as building efficient HR policies.

Enterprises will need to accelerate in training, upskilling workers in the context of digital transformation. Job requirements will constantly change. By 2025, there will be 149 million new digital jobs in areas such as privacy and trust, cybersecurity, data analysis, machine learning, AI, and software development as reported in the latest New Human Age Report by ManpowerGroup in early 2023.

Meanwhile, 50 per cent of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases, also mentioned in this global scale research.

The trend of labour sub-leasing and outsourcing continues to prevail as employers realise the value of leveraging highly skilled HR through professional services. Businesses will rely on these extended arms to assist them in recruiting the right talent and managing labour in a professional, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Talent has no borders. In the context of strong international integration and open working conditions, a part of domestic workers opt to work overseas, while foreign workers/ expatriates seek good career opportunities in Vietnam.

AI and robots will help do some human work, so many jobs in the fields of advertising, legal, content writing, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality will be affected or even taken if workers lack digital skills and adaptability in the 4.0 technology era.

The demand for domestic labour is substantial, and labour shifting between industries has grown requirements for recruitment, management, and consulting activities.

In this context, ManpowerGroup Vietnam is the first fully foreign-invested enterprise in the HR industry licensed by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to provide innovative workforce solutions.

We are honoured to support the efforts of the Vietnamese government in developing local human resources to the next level.

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