The National Statistical Office conducted a labor survey revealing that Thailands agricultural workforce has increased by 400,000 people year on year. Meanwhile, fewer laborers are entering the manufacturing sector.
The National Statistical Office reported the results of a labor survey that was conducted in August 2010, which found that there are total 38.7 million people currently in the workforce, an increase from last years figure by 410,000 people, up 1.1 percent from 2009.
The sector that experienced the greatest growth in the labor force was agriculture, which saw an increase of 400,000 people, up from the 15.42 million people the previous year to 15.82 million. The sectors that have seen the most significant growth behind the agricultural industry are in wholesale and retail businesses, followed by the service industry and government employees.
Meanwhile, the industries that have seen significant drops in their labor forces were those in the logging, food, beverage and auto manufacturing sectors. At the same time, the non metallic mineral products, paper, leather and print advertising were the fastest growing manufacturing industries. The study found that there were a total of 22.89 million people working outside the agricultural sector.
Also according to the survey, there were total of 353,000 unemployed people in Thailand, making for a 0.9% unemployment rate, a decrease of 0.3% when compared with last year, which saw 93,000 fewer unemployed people in the workforce. However, compared to the month before the survey was conducted, there are 8,000 more employed Thais. Approximately 99,000 of the unemployed laborers were previously working in the manufacturing industry, while 86,000 were from service and commercial industries and 10,000 were from the agricultural sector.
The Bangkok Metropolitan had the highest unemployment rate, with 1.1 percent, followed by 1 percent in the Central region, 0.8 percent in the Northeastern region and 0.6 percent in the South.