Thailand unemployment rate drops to 1.05% as tourism industry rebounds

Thailand witnessed a decrease in its unemployment rate during the first quarter, reaching a three-year low of 1.05%, down from 1.15% in the final quarter of 2022, according to the state planning agency’s announcement on Monday. The improvement is attributed to the strengthening recovery of the vital tourism industry.

The nation’s economy, which is the second-largest in Southeast Asia, experienced faster-than-anticipated growth in the first quarter, thanks to the ongoing revival of the travel sector. This industry plays a crucial role in job creation and was severely impacted by the pandemic.

Employment saw a 2.4% increase in the January-March period compared to a year earlier, a rise from the previous three months’ 1.5% growth, as stated by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).

With 420,000 individuals unemployed, the jobless rate in the first quarter was the lowest since the 1.03% recorded in the first quarter of 2020, prior to the economy experiencing the full effects of the pandemic.

However, it is important to note that Thailand’s definition of unemployment is narrow, only considering those who did not work a single hour during the surveyed week as jobless. Analysts argue that this does not account for the country’s significant unofficial economy.

As reported by the planning agency, Thailand had a workforce of 39.6 million in the first quarter of 2023.

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