Laotian authorities admitted an increasing number of Vietnamese and Chinese workers in Laos contributed to rising unemployment among Laotians who are mostly unskilled workers.
Lao Minister for Labor and Social Welfare Onchanh Thammavong said there are currently more than 290,000 Vietnamese and Chinese workers in Laos and most of them are undocumented.
Such circumstance, coupled with the return of more than 12,000 Laotian workers from Thailand over the past five months and the migration of Laotian workers in the provinces to look for jobs in major cities, aggravated the employment situation among Laotians.
According to an initial estimate, over 68,000 Lao workers became jobless, and that number has a tendency to rise further.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Employers’ Representative Committee, Onsy Boutsyvongsak, explained that another important factor contributing to the rising unemployment among Laotians was that most of the Laotian workers were unskilled, thus falling short of meeting employers’ demands. Especially, those workers who came from the provinces were difficult to improve their skills due to their lack of education.
Moreover, low wage scale was adopted against the high cost of living that continues to rise in Laos.Although a government-approved increase in the minimum wage from 290,000 kip to almost 400,000 kip per month has been in effect since May, most employees have not received the adjusted wage.
Such factor, among other things, pushes them to sneak into Thailand to look for jobs, making them illegal and more vulnerable to human trafficking.
Songrit Pongern reported in Lao and summarized in English. Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao.