Published On: Sat, Jan 9th, 2010

Vietnam human resources

Vietnam is a country with a high population and population density in the world. It ranks 14th in the world with the average population of nearly 85.2 million people in 2007, and the average population density of 257 persons per square kilometers, much higher than that in the world (47 persons per square kilometers), which means intensive labor force. The working population of 44.17 million people in 2007 held up 51.85% the total population with 9% working in state sector, 89.4% in non-state sector and 1.6% in foreign-invested sector. Regarding economic field, currently 54.6% of the work force is working in agro-forestry and fishery industry, 19.6% in industry and construction sector and 25.9% in services industry.






Total (thousand people)

29,412.3 33,030.6 37,609.6 42,526.9 44,171.9

Divided by economic sector


3,415.6 3,053.1 3,051.0 4,038.8 3,974.6


25,996.7 29,977.5 33,881.8 37,814.7 39,468.8


226.8 673.4 728.5

Divided by economic field

Agro-forestry and fishery

21,476.1 23,534.8 24,481.0 24,342.5 24,103.9

Industry and construction

3,305.7 3,755.7 4,929.7 7,739.9 8,638.3


4,630.5 5,740.1 8,198.9 10,444.5 11,429.7

In the 1990-2007 periods, there was an increase of 14.8 million people in working population equaling to an average increase of 870 thousand people per year. Vietnam has approximately 1.3-1.5 billion people entering the workforce each year.

Vietnam’s workforce is characterized as being young, high-disciplined, hard-working, quick in learning, adaptable, committed to work giving it competitive advantage over other nations.  The labor force qualifications have been continuously improved with 60% being secondary-school and high-school graduates. The portion of workforce provided with vocational training rose gradually from 21% in 2003 to 22.5% in 2004, to 24% in 2005 and reached nearly 30% in 2007. The South East and the Red River Delta emerge as the region with the highest portion of labor trained (more than 30%). This figure, however, is much lower than that of developed countries. In addition to the quality of the work force and the number of trained labor, health condition is also another shortcoming of Vietnamese labor.

Vietnam human resources
Cheap labor also puts Vietnam at a competitive advantage over other nations. According to an official survey on labor, wage and productivity in all types of enterprises conducted at the end of 2005, the average salary of an university graduate and of higher qualifications is 2.49 million VND, a college graduate: 1.79 million VND, an advanced vocational trained worker: 1.43 billion VND, intermediately vocational trained worker: 1.34 million VND, elementary vocational trained worker: 1.32 million VND and an untrained worker: 1.03 million VND. Regarding job titles, the salary is 4.33 million VND, 1.51 million VND, 1.42 million VND for managerial posts in state enterprises, 3.07 million VND, 1.42 million VND,1.16 million VND for those in non-state enterprises; and 12.00 million VND, 2.23 million VND, 1.39 million VND for those in foreign-invested enterprises, and there is an average increase of 10% each year.

The employment-related disputes hardly occur in Vietnam as there has been about 1000 strikes over the last 15 years since the issuance of the Labor Law, most of which stemmed from failure to commitments on salary, perks and bonus. The protection of labor rights are of great concern in Vietnam.

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