Employment in Q1 decreased by 0.1%

NESDC reveal Employment in Q1 decreased by 0.1%
NESDC reveal Employment in Q1 decreased by 0.1%

Employment slightly decreased by 0.1%, primarily due to a drop in agricultural employment, while non-agricultural sectors continued to grow. Moreover, average working hours declined, and the unemployment rate stood at 1.01%.

The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), Secretary General Danucha Pichayanan said in the first quarter of 2024,

Danucha Pichayanan , Secretary General NESDC
Danucha Pichayanan , Secretary General NESDC

the total number of employed individuals was 39.6 million, a slight decreased of 0.1 % compared to the same period last year.

This decline was due to a more than 5.7 % drop in agricultural employment during the off-season. Meanwhile, non-agricultural employment grew by 2. 2 %, with the hotel and restaurant sector expanding continuously at a rate of 10.6 %,

driven by the influx of over 9.3 million international tourists. Similarly, the construction sector grew by 5%.

Employment in non-farm sector up 0.7%

Meeting report results Employment in Q1 decreased by 0.1%
Meeting report results Employment in Q1 decreased by 0.1%

Employment in the manufacturing sector began to improve, increasing by 0.7 %, particularly in the production of beverages, chemicals and chemical products, and textiles. Moreover, the transportation and warehousing sector expanded by 13.4 %. Working hours decreased due to a reduction in overtime,

with the overall and private sectors averaging 41.0 and 44.0 hours per week, respectively. The number of people working overtime dropped by 3.6 %, while the number of the underemployed increased by 11.6 %.

The unemployment rate remained stable at 1.01 %, with 410,000 unemployed individuals.

Key issues to monitor are:

1) Lack of skills among Thai workers could impact the economy in the long term. The Adult Skills Assessment in Thailand ( ASAT) survey revealed that a significant number of Thai youth and working-age individuals possess skills below the required standard.

2) Sustainability of the Social Security Fund: The fund is expected to face increased pension payouts to retirees rapidly in the future due to demographic changes. By 2032, there could be as many as 2.3 million retirees claiming old-age benefits.

3) Development of workforce skills for higher wages: The gap between wages and GDP is likely to widen as most workers still possess low skills and many are employed in low-productivity sectors, resulting in low wages. Currently, Thai labor productivity has not yet recovered from the impacts of COVID-19, resulting in limited wage adjustments, especially for medium-skilled workers who predominantly perform routine tasks.

Related News : Thai economy in Q1 grew by 1.5%