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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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  1. Avatar


    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Here you’ve the perfect example to why one should never [just] look at a number and think, that tells the whole story. Yes, 2% is low but before C19 it was [only] 1% so an 100% increase, in unemployment! Doesn’t matter how one would count, that can’t be good!
    To get some truth behind the numbers, of the Thai labor market, then we need start with the question; how many people [fit for work] does the Social Security protect? And those who are not protected, how many of them are unemployed? If we put those two numbers together, then we’d have an accurate number. How I feel, one thing is for sure; aaa lot more than 2%, probably double digits.

  2. Avatar


    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Take a look here at the 100% increase in unemployment, that is NOT good!

  3. Avatar

    Gary laird

    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    Great example of social distancing.

  4. Avatar


    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Thailand is a great country . PM Prayut will make necessary to give work for every body in the kingdom .

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Maag, yes Thailand is a great country but you musty be joking or do you honestly believe that a corrupt leader, will help the vast majority of Thais? Seriously!

  5. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 2:18 am

    What would be interesting is the “real” number of unemployed among people fit for work. The real unemployment rate was never as low as 1% and it certainly is not just 2% now – a 100% increase is a lot – and one can wonder if the increase is even more for those not under any social security protection scheme.

    It is a weird way of measuring the employment rate in a country. Next will probably be that only royalists are considered actualy labourers.

  6. Avatar


    Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 8:45 am

    This is a minimal increase given the impact of COVID on the tourism. All countries have experienced an increase so trying to paint Thailand as more terrible doesn’t hunt unless you have data that proves it and I don’t see any here. Since people are unemployed due to no fault of their own the government should help as much as possible to bridge these people until they open the country. They could do more.

  7. Avatar

    J West

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Perhaps speed up the Thai space program to give the ” high income nation” strategy a turbo charge. Bar Girls in Space !!

  8. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    “Bounces Back”………yeah 120,000 bar girls are on their back bouncing……what a load a crap. Until they address the 40% of workers not recognized by the government then there will be no bounce back for a long time.

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