Nearly 500,000 Unemployed in Laos Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

Unemployment rate soars in Laos
Lao migrant workers return home.


The Ministry of Labor has reported that nearly 500,000 people remain unemployed across the nation this year, including those already in the country and migrant workers who have returned to Laos due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Laos has a total of 496,000 unemployed, with 439,082 local employees and 56,918 migrant workers returning from overseas, KPL reports.

Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Mrs. Baikham Khatthiya, told the National Assembly yesterday that the unemployment rate in Laos has increased by 21.8 % this year.

Minister Baikham said that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses, factories, and investment projects, prompting them to reduce, temporarily suspend, or close operations and retrench their staff.

“Authorities have attempted to find solutions and provide assistance, particularly in coordination with employment centers and the private sector as needed,” said Mrs. Baikham.

“Some 11,461 people gained employment in the first ten months of the year, from January to October 2021, and a total of 18,628 people are expected to be employed this year,” she added.

“However, we discovered that at least 6,626 vacancies were still open,” Mrs. Baikham said.

Some 224,118 Lao migrant workers were living in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and others throughout 2020 until September 2021.

Of this number, 215,671 have subsequently returned to Laos, according to the ministry.

A number of returning migrant workers have returned home to work at family farms, while others have struggled to find employment.