At a job fair in Ho Chi Minh City (Source: thanhniennews)

Hanoi (VNA) - The country's unemployment rate slightly rose to 2.25 percent in the first quarter of this year as the local economy slowed down, according to the labor ministry's new data.

It was up from 2.18 percent recorded in the fourth quarter last year and the first quarterly increase in a year. Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.5 percent in the first three months. The economy expanded by a five-year high of 6.68 percent last year.

Of more than 1.07 million unemployed people, about 28.8 percent were university and college graduates, up from 25.7 percent in the previous quarter.

The labour ministry also reported that 1.76 percent of the workforce were working less than 35 hours a week and wished to have more work as comparison with 1.61 percent in the last quarter of 2015.

State-owned businesses paid the highest salary with employees receiving an average of 7.61 million VND (336 USD) a month, up 22.1 percent from the previous quarter, according to the report.

They were followed by foreign businesses who offered 6.12 million VND (270 USD) a month on average, an increase of 17 percent. Local private companies 5.75 million VND.

Vietnam earlier this year raised the minimum wage for local employees by 13 percent.-VNA