Thailand’s unemployment crisis soars despite tourism boom

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Thailand’s unemployment rate continues to climb, with a staggering 410,000 people out of work in the first quarter of this year, according to the National Statistical Office. The hardest-hit group is those with higher education degrees.

Office director Piyanuch Wuttisorn revealed that of the total, around 79,000 people have been unemployed for more than a year.”

The statistics paint a grim picture: highly educated individuals top the list of the jobless, followed by high school and middle school graduates. The reasons for unemployment are varied but telling.

A significant 59.25% of the unemployed cited quitting their jobs as the cause, while business closures accounted for 16.16%. Expiry of employment contracts and layoffs made up 13.15% and 5.47%, respectively.

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Adding to the crisis, the overall number of employed workers saw a slight dip, falling from 40.2 million to 39.6 million quarter on quarter. This decline is primarily due to a drop in agricultural workers amid severe drought conditions.

Despite the downturn in agriculture, there is a glimmer of hope. Non-farm employment has increased by 2.2% quarter on quarter, driven by growth in the hospitality and restaurant sectors. This rise reflects the robust recovery of Thailand’s tourism industry, reported The Nation.

However, Piyanuch warns that the worst may not be over.

“We expect unemployment numbers to rise in the next quarter, especially among agricultural workers, due to ongoing drought conditions.”

In related news, the Thai government has plans to set in motion the One Family One Soft Power (OFOS) project in June, hoping to generate 20 million employment opportunities with a minimum yearly wage of 200,000 baht according to Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Head of the National Committee on Soft Power Development and leader of the Pheu Thai Party.

In other news, dismayed Pattaya employers are raising the alarm over a sudden surge in job vacancies following the Myanmar junta’s recent move to restrict young people, especially men, from leaving the country.

Bangkok NewsEconomy NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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