Laos Labor Ministry Reports Employment Rate of Over 97 Percent

Lao construction workers.

The Minister of Labor and Social Welfare provided information on the labor market in the recent National Assembly session on Friday, revealing that 2.4 million, or 97.6% of all eligible people, are now employed.

Ms. Baykham Khattiya, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, said that the results of the labor force survey conducted in 2022, revealed that Laos has a working population (ages 15 and above) of over five million people and more than two million of them are a part of the country’s labor force.

There are more than one million workers employed in agriculture, around 252,000 people have jobs in various industries, and 814,000 workers are associated with the service industry.

The ministry reported that its employment programs have led to a decrease in the overall unemployment rate from 21.8 percent in 2021 to 18.5 percent in 2022. These exclude independent contractors or family business support staff.

According to the Government’s Labor Force Survey, the unemployment rate in the industry currently stands at 2.4 percent or 61,207 people.

On the same day, Ms. Thoummaly Vongphachanh, Chairwoman of the Cultural-Social Committee of the National Assembly, stated that over 152,000 Lao workers are still stuck in Thailand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, including Lao illegal immigrants who rushed to seek new jobs after the country reopened earlier this year.

Nearly 500,000 people were reported unemployed across the nation in 2021, including those already in the country and migrant workers who had returned to Laos due to the Covid-19 pandemic.