Thai labour market bounces back despite the pandemic

PHOTO: Job Expo 2020

Despite Covid-19 pandemic’s negative impact on the economy with numerous layoffs and business closures, the Thai labour market survived and is experiencing an unemployment rate that is lower than expected, according to the Deputy Chairman of the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee, Chalee Loysoong.

While the unemployment rate is lower than expected at 2% or 700,000 individuals, Thammasat University associate professor Kiriya Kulkolkarn says she’s concerned about how that number was achieved. She says many companies avoided layoffs by cutting hours, which also meant cutting down the income.

Last year, 327,693 employees lost their jobs, with the highest number in August after the first wave of coronavirus infections, according to the Social Security Office. Around 1.14 million people filed for unemployment benefits.

Many businesses were hit hard. The automotive, electrical appliances, food and export sectors are all doing well while the worst-hit sectors include tourism and hospitality. Kiriya is calling on the government to help those in vulnerable groups find jobs.

The Labour Ministry helped a number of people get jobs. Back in September, more than 500,000 people were hired at a job expo set up by the ministry to help workers impacted by the pandemic find jobs. 330,000 found a new job at government agencies, 160,000 received job offers from private companies and around 10,000 secured roles abroad.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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