The assessment of employment concerns that part of the population aged 10 years and older who are in regular employment (see Table 7). In the 2005 National Housing and Population Census, all the family working members aged 10 years and older were interviewed about their employment in the 12 month prior to the Census. The employment was recorded in the following categories: government employee, parastatal employee, private sector employee, state enterprise employee, employer, own-account worker and unpaid family worker. Using this definition, the Census found that 98.6% of the economically active population were employed. However, in Map G.5 we show only the formal employees as a percentage of the total economically active population, i.e. the government, parastatal, private and state enterprise employees. The national average of this rate of employees amounts to 11.5% of the economically active population.

The percentages of employment are shown in five classes with the lowest rate of employment amounting to less than 5% and the highest rate to more than 20%. High employment rates of more than 20% are found in the big towns of each province, with the highest employment rate encountered in the central region, especially in Vientiane Capital, the surrounding areas and in Xaysomboune Special Zone.

The main reason could be that many government offices, factories, private companies, and most businesses are located in towns and in Vientiane Capital in particular and therefore can provide enough jobs for people in these areas. The provinces of Attapeu and Phongsaly have the lowest rates of employment of less than 10% as can be seen in the map. The location of these two provinces in the extreme north and south, respectively, together with the insufficient infrastructure in respect of education and transportation as well as the distance to markets may explain the lack of employment opportunities. Principally, this map is closely related to non-agricultural activities as shown in the following Map G.6.

Overall the rate of formal employment in the Lao PDR is quite low, which is obviously related to the still very high rate of subsistence agriculture. Other factors affect people seeking employment such as lack of opportunity, the limited number of positions available, insufficient labour skills as perceived by the employers, marginal salaries and unregulated working hours. These problems require increased promotion of vocational training together with job creation by simplifying investment procedures and obligatory in-country processing, so that each person, according to his/her capabilities, can find a job and earn enough money to cover their daily needs.




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