Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam now records over 18 million unofficial workers who account for 57.2 percent of non-agricultural workforce, according to a report announced at a seminar held in Hanoi on October 4.

As a joint work among the General Statistics Office (GSO) of Vietnam, the International Labour Organisation, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs, the report polled nearly 20,000 households each month in 63 cities and provinces nationwide from 2007. However, data about unofficial workforce were added into survey questionnaires from 2014.

Unofficial workers are known to have unstable jobs, lack labour contracts or work on verbal contracts to earn low income. Their employers operate on micro or small scale, lack business registration or fail to pay social and health insurance or other welfares to workers.

Roughly 60 percent of them live in rural areas in the Mekong and Red River Deltas, the north central and coastal central regions. Meanwhile in the northern mountainous mid-land and the Central Highlands regions, workers mainly live on agriculture and forestry.

Unofficial workers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City make up more than 20 percent of the total nationwide. They mostly work in manufacturing and processing, construction and wholesale-retail, motorbike and automobile repair, accounting for roughly 70 percent of the total. It is followed by lodging and catering services (around 11 percent).

Their monthly salary averages 4.4 million VND (192 USD) per person compared to 6.7 million VND in the formal sector. Up to 97.9 percent of unofficial workers lack social insurance while 80.5 percent of workers in the formal sector have compulsory social insurance.

In order to reduce vulnerability of unofficial workers, Director of the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs Doan Quang Vinh suggested adopting specific action plans to encourage business households to apply for registration and provide them with all possible support in capital, technology, consumption and workforce training.

Nguyen Thi Xuan Mai, head of the GSO’s Population and Labour Statistics Department, said the State should encourage unofficial workers to join voluntary social insurance via aids.-VNA