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Labour minister says unemployment less than half of predictions

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Samui Times

Thailand’s labour minister told a Friday press briefing that the number of unemployed people in Thailand is around 2 to 3 million, less than half the 7 to 8 million previously predicted. He said that since The National Economic and Social Development Council did the calculation, “it cannot be wrong… as the latter is Thailand’s economic planner”.

Given the gravities of the collapse of the Thai tourism industry, alone, the minister’s numbers appear suspiciously low.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said the Covid-19 pandemic created fear amongst the Thai workforce and businesses, adding that job hunting during the pandemic will be disheartening for fresh graduates.

“I myself will monitor the situation of unemployment among new graduates. What I will do is to set up a national labour centre in my ministry. The centre will cut unemployment by matching unemployed workers with industrial firms.”

He also said he’ll encourage businesses in the industrial and farming sectors to hire Thai workers rather than migrant labour wherever possible. The centre will also arrange reskilling and upskilling of workers in factories and combat forced labour human trafficking in the fishery sector.

SOURCES: Khaosod English | xinhuanet


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  1. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    I stick with the International Labor Organization (United Nations) numbers (6-7 million unemployed by year end) since most workers in the tourism industry are not covered by the social security (free lancers). These figures should also come with the impact on the real estate industry where most new buildings are taken up by foreign owners!

    • Avatar

      rinky stingpiece

      Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      The trouble with countries like Thailand is that aside from whether you believe the official figures, many people are able to work informally and outside of any bureaucracy, so the en masse return to food and agriculture work can absorb what in the west would have to be absorbed via a bureaucratic system like social security. What’s probably likely is that a lot of people are working for less and have less to spend. A lot of work is already precarious and subsistence level anyway. Without tourism, hidden problems become visible.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 10:23 pm

      Most new buildings are not taken up by foreign owners, this is where farangs claim to be the centerpiece of the Thai economy yet again.

      In the development I live in, in Phuket, 600 houses were built over a period of four years.

      There are only about ten farang families living here, the rest are Thai owners, most of the houses were sold off-plan before they were built.

      They are at the lower end of the market true at about 5 million baht at the time (eight years ago).

      Many Thai people have money as well as well as us you know.

      • Avatar

        Rinky Stingpiece

        Monday, August 17, 2020 at 9:01 am

        Many do, and many don’t, and personal debt (which includes mortgages) is at an all-time high. Relatives pay for a lot.
        Of those 5m houses, how many will have mortgages of over 40,000/month? How many of the mortgagees earn more than that?

        • Avatar


          Monday, August 17, 2020 at 7:25 pm


          That will be the situation in most places in the world now after the virus, most people have a mortgage who have bought a house.

          My point was it is Thais who buy most of the houses built in Thailand seeing as there are 65,000,000 of them and only a few hundred thousand farangs who mostly rent anyway or have bought a house which they can not own anyway.

          Plus many Thais have land and can build a house for 500,000 that is where most houses are built for very little money.

          One strange aspect I do see here though is many Thais have better cars than they do a house, I have seen many 1.2 million baht cars parked outside 500,000 baht houses.

          • Avatar

            Rinky Stingpiece

            Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 1:21 am

            I don’t think they really buy them… they are bought by their families, and they “kind of” pay it back in some form of contribution, and then get in massive debt for a car that they really don’t need. One of my inlaws is paying off a hooptie and it’s huge chunk of income.

            We know that land ownership is a very grey area with all kinds of categories and deals done within family groups. Comparing the way Thais buy houses to the way it happens in the west, it’s not comparable. Western input is mainly through tourism, whourism and beerism.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, August 17, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Without the option of selling to felangs Thai property prices will go down.
    This option will soon be drastically reduced
    Of course bamboo shack houses will not be affected.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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