CESD presented the preliminary findings of their enterprise survey, which looked at labour market issues in the garment and food processing sectors, to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security on 27 January 2016. Issues included the low levels of labor representation, signs of worker dissatisfaction (as reflected in quite a high incidence of strikes), the gap between actual wages and the new minimum wage (the survey was conducted prior to the establishment of a minimum wage), high labor turnover rates, limited investment in human capital development, and firms’ difficulties in finding skilled labor. The IDRC-funded research found that the greatest challenge for businesses was the ability to access skilled labor, followed by access to a reliable electricity supply.
CESD also presented a number of areas for possible policy action, including:
- support the strengthening of social dialogue and the improvement of industrial relations to reduce high labor turnover rates;
- promote skills upgrading and human capital development;
- promote return migration (“brain re-gain”) for skills transfer;
- ensure compliance with the minimum wage to improve living standards for workers, and to avoid unwarranted competitive advantages for those firms who don’t comply; and
- improve the implementation and coverage of the social security board.
The presentation was provided by CESD’s labor market research team, and attended by U Myo Aung, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, Daw Sandar Aye, Director of Department of Labor, and other key officials from the Department of Labor. Dr Zaw Oo, CESD Executive Director, provided additional comments and supported the policy discussions.
The enterprise survey was conducted in Yangon and Mon State, in July – October 2015, with the support and input of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, and funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. The objective of the survey was to produce original research data and analysis on the constraints of the Myanmar labor market.
Download CESD’s presentation to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security via the following link:
- Presentation – Enterprise survey in garment and agro-food processing sectors in Yangon and Mon State – 27 January 2016 (PDF; English language; 38 pages; 583 Kb)