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HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — The Employment Service Centre, a unit of the HCM City Export Processing Zones Authority (HEPZA) has received big orders from employers who need to hire thousands of workers.

The range of workers needed varies: 1,500 electronic assembly workers for plants in the Tan Thuan and Linh Trung Export Processing Zones (EPZ); 4,000 footwear workers for Linh Trung EPZs I and II; 5,000 textile-garment workers for the Tan Thuan and Linh Trung EPZs; 1,000 untrained workers for plants in the Tan Binh EPZ and Linh Trung EPZs I and II.

The monthly income offered these workers is between VND 1.7 to 2.9 million per month (US$100-$170).

Surveys at some industrial zones (IZs) and EPZs in HCM City show that some companies are recruiting at least 1,000 workers, for instance Triumph International Vietnam — 1,000 garment workers, Kolland & Hugo Knitware — 2,000 garment workers, and Nidec Vietnam Corporation — 1,000 untrained workers.

Companies in the fields like garment, footwear, and electronics that have faced difficulties since late 2008 now need new workers. A textile mill in the Tan Binh IZ is recruiting workers for its fibre enterprise in District 4.

Not long ago, many companies cut their workforce and thousands of workers sweated to find a job. Now, once again, employers must “advertise” themselves to attract workers. They publicly declare the income and benefits for workers. During their apprenticeship, workers can earn from VND 1.2 to VND 1.9 million ($70-$110) per month plus a daily meal, night-shift allowance and bonus in kind.

After their two-month apprenticeship, workers can expect an average monthly income of VND 1.9 million. Some companies break the “ceiling” by offering as much as VND 3 million ($175) per month. Laborers also receive health and social insurance, performance bonuses, vacation, and the 13th month of salary, or “Tet bonus.”


Even more, some employers have announced they will provide dormitory accommodations to workers who have official labor contracts. The recruitment formalities have also been also simplified. Some firms have only asked applicants to submit a copy of their ID card and three 3x4 cm portraits. The Nidec Company only requires a 7th grade education. Thus, workers have various choices.

Nguyen Hong Nga, a worker at the Tan Thuan EPZ, was looking for a new job after finishing her shift. “My current company pays a reasonable salary but the work is quite heavy. While many companies are recruiting workers, I’m looking for a more suitable job,” she said.

Easy to fire, hard to hire

When workers were being laid off under the impact of the global economic crisis, many labor experts warned that it is easy to cut workers but it will be difficult to recruit them again.

In the past, it was always hard for employers in IZs and EPZs to find workers directly after the lunar New Year holiday. This year, many laid-off workers have returned to their home provinces and are still there. Consequently, plants in IZs and EPZs near HCM City face a shortage of workers.

In an early April meeting of district level staff at the HCM City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, reports from districts revealed good prospects for a pickup in the labor market. However, Deputy Department Director Nguyen Van Xe, would only say “It is not possible to confirm that the crisis is over, but many companies have had new orders and are recruiting large numbers of workers. The labor market is getting warm”.

However, along with the heating up of the labor market, some companies are worried that they cannot not recruit workers. “A company announced it would recruit 1,000 workers in March but until now they haven’t hired enough,” said Doan Thi Thu Ha, the chief of HEPZA’s Labor – Wage Division.

The person in charge of human resources at Nidec Company said the firm has advertised to recruit workers with a rather attractive salary package since mid-April but it has so far recruited only about 100 workers.