Unemployment on the rise in Rangoon

Dec 10, 2008 (DVB), Production and trade in Rangoon have declined in many sectors as a result of the slump in demand from local and overseas buyers, causing rising unemployment in the city.

Several factories in Rangoon have been closed down and some have had to reduce staff numbers drastically as foreign companies cut back on imports from Burma as a result of the global financial crisis, Rangoon residents said.

Some clothing factories in the industrial zones have stopped working and cottage industries such as gemstone polishing and carving workshops have also been affected.

"Some people are riding trishaws and some selling mohinga [noodles] to survive," a resident said.

"The news of the unemployment problem is coming out sporadically."

Rubber factories have had to shed workers because of the reduction in orders from abroad, a flip-flop maker in Rangoon said.

Magazines and publishing houses have also had to cut down on staff and some are in danger of closing down completely, an editor said.

"As the economic situation is getting worse, people have no time to read and no money to buy books," he said.

Locals said theft and prostitution were also on the rise in the city.

Reporting by Htet Yazar

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