Thailand’s unemployment rate up in Q1

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BANGKOK, May 24 (Xinhua) — Thailand’s unemployment rate increased significantly to 1.96 percent in the first quarter of 2021, recording 760,000 unemployed, according to a report issued by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) Monday.

In the October-December quarter in 2020, the unemployment rate was 1.86 percent, the agency data showed.

The number of people in the labor force amounted to 38.8 million in the first quarter of 2021. In some industries such as agriculture, jobs have been created due to recovery and hence absorbing some of the lay-offs from last year, while in other industries like tourism and manufacturing, more jobs have disappeared, the NESDC report said.

The unemployment rate is expected to rise again in light of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, according to the report.

Employees in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are being expected to lose jobs or have their working hours cut if the pandemic can not be quickly contained, the report said.

Also, more lay-offs in the tourism industry are forecasted since the Tourism Authority of Thailand predicts that the industry will not recover before 2026, which will affect over 7 million workers.

The impact of the coronavirus on the national economy and its slower economic growth will further affect the employment of 490,000 university graduates, the report said.

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