The latest unemployment figures in Laos stand at more than 61,000 due to an economic recession plaguing the country.
The President of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions, Ms. Aly Vongnorbountham, revealed that over 61,000 people are currently unemployed in Laos, as the minimum wage on offer is not at par with the living standards of workers and laborers.
The unemployment crisis has also been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession that has affected both workers and various industries. Many workers have seen no choice but to pursue work opportunities abroad for higher pay which has led to an acute labor shortage in the country.
Additionally, many organizations do not have a union, or workers do not join them, which affects their training and education. But the government is supportive of the work done by labor unions and is issuing various legislations to support union work.
Around 78.7% of the labor force in Laos is between the ages of 25 and 64, and more than 2.4 million people or 97.6% of the total labor force are currently employed, while over 61,000 i.e. 34.4% of the labor force, including 21,000 women, are unemployed.
According to official figures, 38,000 Lao workers, including more than 21,000 women work in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia in the industry, agriculture, and service sectors.
Despite the slight increase in the minimum wage this month, Lao workers still struggle to make ends meet and seek employment opportunities in neighboring countries and other nations with higher wages.