There was a significant imbalance of workers with appropriate qualifications to meet demand for businesses across a number of sectors in the first quarter of the year, radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reported on April 2.

Employment demand grew by 11% in the first three months compared to the same period of last year, while the labour force expanded only 8%, VOV cited a report released by VietnamWorks.

VietnamWorks CEO Jonah Levey said those who are lacking in academic credentials or sufficient work experience are entering fierce competition to secure employment.

Meanwhile, employment recruiters are struggling to find qualified job applicants, he said.

The situation remains relatively unchanged from 2013, demonstrating that despite steady growth in quantity of jobs, the phenomenon of lack of quality in the labour market continues to plague the economy.

Underqualified job candidates are in a tough position searching for employment. For instance, in the first quarter of this year, for every “entry level” job (the lowest level in businesses) there were 101 candidates applying for the position, according to VietnamWorks.

The competition is triple or five times greater than that to enter a reputable university in Vietnam, demonstrating just how harsh conditions in the labour market at low levels truly are.

The fields with the highest recruitment demands include import-export, information technology, business administration, industrial production, customer service, sales and marketing and construction.

Import-export tops the list with demand rising 45% against the same period last year.

In terms of labour force supply, the fields experiencing the greatest need for qualified candidates span accounting, production, IT, software, import-export, design and architecture.

Particularly, demand for accounting surged sharply while its supply dropped significantly.

Five localities with the highest demand for employees are Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Bac Ninh and Da Nang.

Some emerging localities which have impressive growth in labour demand are Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ha Nam, Quang Ninh and Ha Tinh.

Among 10 localities seeing the highest number of job applications, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Bien Hoa recorded highest competition rate - one applicant has to compete with 60 others on average for every job.-VNA