Labour, jobs, and employment are essential to any economy and determine part of the integration into the global economy and globalization process. In emerging and fast growing economies, such as Vietnam, the labour force often has difficulty meeting the increasing demand of the market for skilled workers due to a predominance of unskilled labour. This in turn prevents a transition from low-productivity sectors to high-productivity sectors. Because labour is not protected under a weak legal system, it can also prove difficult to obtain a sustainable job. These limitations make it challenging to maintain a high growth rate based on labour productivity. Further, rapid urbanization has created an influx of migrants from rural to urban areas, putting higher pressure on employment, vocational training, infrastructure, social stability, and poverty reduction initiatives in these urban areas.
Our research on the labour market and employment take into account these dynamics, with a focus on vulnerable groups such as migrants, ethnic minorities, low-skilled labourers, child labourers, women, and informal sector workers. By researching the most vulnerable, we are able to contribute to guiding policies to promote growth and lessen inequality.
Recently, MDRI completed a study on Vocational Education Training Financing/Program Cost Norm in order to determine the most effective model for Vietnam’s vocational college system, with a focus on enhancing performance-based funding. We also conducted a 12-province survey on Household Business and the Informal Sector in Vietnam in order to understand the mechanisms of adjustment of the informal sector, its role in the economy, and its functioning through social networks in times of growth slowdown and macroeconomic instability.