Poverty surveys in Vietnam systematically exclude mobile people, particularly migrants in wage employment. The Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey (VHLSS) and its predecessors sample from official population lists and thus leave out individuals lacking permanent residence status. Moreover, VHLSS overemphasizes expenditure data and omits critical information on labor market participation. The article presents results from a small survey of wage workers in VHLSS enumeration areas. The study demonstrates that unregistered wage workers are numerous and likely underrepresented in official surveys. More information is needed on these workers if we are to understand poverty dynamics in Vietnam.

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