The average wage in Vietnam is only one-seventh that of Asia Pacific, with a low ratio of skilled labor impeding productivity.
A Vietnamese worker earned $242 per month this year, compared to the regional $1,801, according to recruitment firm ManpowerGroup’s annual Total Workforce Index 2019.
Vietnam’s wage only beats the figure in Indonesia, among Asia-Pacific economies studied. It is two times higher in Thailand, three times in Malaysia, and four times in China.
With a workforce of 57.5 million, Vietnam had the second lowest ratio of highly skilled labor at 11.6 percent, compared to 25.5 percent in the Philippines and 38.8 percent in Hong Kong.
Only five percent of local workers are proficient in English, while this figure is 10 percent in Indonesia and 27 percent in Thailand.
These indicators afford Vietnam a Total Workforce Index ranking of 13th out of 15 Asia Pacific countries and territories studied, higher than China (14th) and Indonesia (15th). Singapore had the highest ranking this year, followed by Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Among the lowest in Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s labor productivity is estimated at only 1/18th that of Singapore, 1/16th that of Malaysia and 1/3rd that of Thailand and China, according to the General Statistics Office.