With the national economy recovering from the economic downturn, Vietnam needs a profuse and diversified labor force. However, due to many reasons, the supply and demand for jobs in 2010 were severely imbalanced, and experts believe that the imbalance will still be evident in 2011.

Unskilled laborers in high demand

In early 2010, the labor market witnessed a serious imbalance between the supply and demand, when many companies in industrial zones could not recruit workers to fulfill the export contracts. At that time, the demand for unskilled workers accounted for 71.16 percent of the total demand in the job market.

During the middle of the year the labor shortage was then eased thanks to state labor management policies and enterprises’ efforts to increase labor productivity. However, the “supply-demand dephasing” still occur in some business fields. Especially, enterprises seriously lacked unskilled workers and high ranking personnel.

Tran Anh Tan, a high ranking expert on the labor market, believes that dephasing will still occur in 2011.

In HCM City, the largest economic center, needs about 265,000 laborers, while the demand for unskilled workers accounts for 45 percent of the total demand, and the demand workers with university degree account for 20 percent. Meanwhile, the city needs about 35 percent of the laborers who have vocational school degrees.

Mechanical engineering, electricity, electronics, garment and textile, finance and banking, accountancy and auditing, food processing, fine arts and interior decoration, construction and architecture prove to be the “hottest” careers which need higher numbers of workers.

The demand for laborers in other business fields saw sharp increases in 2010, including marketing, services, industrial hygiene. In particular the demand for domestic help servicemen and people to care for the elderly sharply increased. The supply of laborers for these fields remains modest, just meeting 20 percent of the demand.

Tuan believes that the picture of the labor will still be not bright in 2011, with the demand for unskilled laborers remaining very high in the first months of the year. It is expected that the supply will be able to meet 50-60 percent of the market demand only.

The market will be more stable from the second quarter of the year, but the demand for skilled workers will be sharply increasing.

Marketing and sales becoming hot careers

Experts believe that in 2011, some business fields will have an considerable increase in labor supply, including accountancy, office administration, storage – materials – import-export, informatics and business administration. However, a paradox remains that these will also be the fields which are believed to have the biggest problems in labor quality. The problem is that training centers are producing big numbers of laborers for the fields every year, but the schools’ graduates cannot meet the basic demands of the jobs, and enterprises regularly have to train newly recruited workers before officially assigning tasks.

The demand for laborers is very big in some careers, especially marketing and sales, but the supply remains very short. In 2010, only 30 percent of the demand was met, while the figure is expected to increase to 40 percent in 2011.

While most of unskilled workers are gathering in the central region, the system of enterprises still has not developed, therefore, a high percentage of laborers still cannot find jobs. Meanwhile, other economic centers are seriously lacking unskilled laborers.

Source: VNN