Photo: Duc Anh
More than a quarter of Vietnam's unemployed hold university degrees or higher.
Over 1 million people of working age were unemployed in the second quarter of this year, according to the latest labor market bulletin from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).
Some 286,000 of the 1,072,300 hold university degrees or higher while there has also been an increase in the jobless rate among highly-skilled workers.
The ministry said the large number of highly educated unemployed poses challenges to the country’s education sector and will push further reforms to meet demand in the local labor market.
The bulletin revealed slow progress in improving labor quality through education, as qualified workers made up only 20.62 per cent of the total workforce, a slight increase of 0.56 per cent over the same period last year.
Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep acknowledged there is low demand for employees with high education.
“While the domestic labor market faces a surplus of highly-educated workers it is struggling with a shortage of highly-skilled workers,” said Mr. Diep.
He emphasized the significance of career counseling for young people, adding that the “race for academic qualifications” has resulted in hundreds of thousands of university graduates unable to find employment.
He called on young people think carefully before choosing to study at university or college and consider whether this would help them find employment.
The labor and education sectors must also cooperate to provide forecasts on the labor market so that education plans can meet workforce demand.
The Director of the Institute of Labor Science, Mr. Dao Quang Vinh, said a lack of work experience and a gap between training and market demand (excessive human resources in some areas such as business and economics, but a shortage in technological and technical engineers) are major reasons for the high unemployment rate among new graduates.
The unemployment rate in Vietnam, as reported by the General Statistics Office, increased to 2.05 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, from 1.99 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The rate averaged 2.32 per cent from 1998 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 1998 and a record low of 1.63 per cent in the second quarter of 2014.