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Thai unemployment rate dips in Q2 but virus curbs to hit jobs

Thai unemployment rate dips in Q2 but virus curbs to hit jobs

FILE PHOTO: Closed bars are pictured at the Ratchada Railway Night Market in Bangkok, Thailand, April 17, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK : Thailand's unemployment rate in the second quarter dipped from a 12-year high in the previous three month, but restrictions to contain the country's biggest coronavirus outbreak are likely to impact more jobs, the state planning agency said on Wednesday.

The Southeast Asian country's latest outbreak that started in April has accounted for most of Thailand's one million infections, prompting restrictions in Bangkok and several other provinces.

The unemployment rate was at 1.86per cent in April-June, representing 730,000 workers without jobs, down from 1.96per cent in January-March, as employment increased in the farm and export sectors, the agency said.

Employment rose 2per cent in the second quarter year-on-year.

Despite some improvement, the jobless rate remained high compared to before the pandemic, Danucha Pichayanan, head of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDB), told a briefing.

"The COVID containment measures have affected economic activities and workers' income, so what we have to do next is helping employers keep their workers," Danucha said.

The finance ministry and the labour ministry are working on additional support measures to maintain employment, which should be announced soon, he said.

While unemployment will increase due to the lockdown measures, it's difficult to predict job losses, Danucha added.

Last week, the central bank said jobless numbers were expected at 3.4 million at the end of 2021, up from 3 million in the second quarter.

(Reporting by Kitphong Thaichareon, Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Ed Davies)

Source: Reuters


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