NESDC on Thailand's employment and unemployment situation

Side note, the amount of working hours in Thailand has increased in both the public and private sectors, respectively reaching 40.8 and 43.8 hours per week, compared to the same period last year.

Thailand's employment situation has improved, according to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). The country's unemployment rate fell to 1.53%, which was described as "the lowest level since the outbreak of COVID-19". Overall, the Council shared that in Q1/2022, there is a total of 38.7mn persons who were employed - a 3% increase from the same period last year.

In terms of economic sectors such as agricultural and non-agricultural, NESDC said that there was a rise in both sectors. The agricultural sector employed 11.4mn persons (a 3.0% increase) due to increased production of agricultural products in key crops. The non-agricultural sector, on the other, employed 27.3mn persons - which likewise witnessed a 3% increase.

Breaking down the non-agricultural sector further, the Council shared that:

  • Manufacturing saw a 2.6% increase in employment;
  • Wholesale & retail saw a 5.8% increase;
  • Transportation & storage saw a 16.2% increase, and
  • Construction, and hotel & restaurant sectors saw a 1.1% decrease.

"Employment in the hotel & restaurant sector decreased due to the increase in COVID-19 epidemic, and also a small number of foreign tourists, which (is) 0.5mn people comparing to 9-10mn before COVID-19," the analysts at NESDC explained.

Diving into the unemployment statistics, the Council revealed that the number of unemployed persons is at 610,000, and that it is a decrease from 760,000 in the same period last year, and a decrease from 630,000 in the previous quarter. With that, the number of persons who are receiving unemployment benefits is at 305,765 - this, according to NESDC, represents a 2.7% unemployment rate in the formal sector.

On that note, NESDC added that "there are some issues that need to be monitored" in this domain which includes:

  1. The number of unemployed persons who has never worked before "is rising", reaching 260,000 persons (a 5.2% increase over the same period last year). 
  2. The long-term unemployment rate that "is expected to rise" to 170,000 persons; and
  3. The unemployment rate among highly educated workers that "remains high", with tertiary graduates accounting for 3.10% of the workforce.

Separately, the Council also discovered that working hours in Thailand have increased in both the public and private sectors, respectively reached 40.8 and 43.8 hours per week, compared to the same period last year.

"However, it remained lower than before COVID-19, due in part to the 3.8mn quasi-unemployment in the first quarter of 2022, while working hours of those working 50 hours or more per week or the overtime workers tended to increase, but remained lower than normal. In the first quarter of 2022, the number of overtime workers decreased to 5.7mn from the usual range of 6-7mn," the analysts explained.

Also readThailand's COVID-19 updates from 1 June 2022: Revised Thailand Pass rules, no quarantine for high-risk contacts, and more

Image / NESDC

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