The number of those gainfully in Thailand’s work force reached 38.81 million persons in February, an increase from 38.08 million in January and 38.06 million year-on-year, according to the National Statistical Office (NSO).The agency said 420,000 people were newly-hired in the non-agricultural sector which reported a total 25.03 million people in the work force – a sign of the country’s improved economy.
Construction in which 240,000 new workers were hired was the sector with the highest increase in employment due to rapid growth in the property industry and state investment, followed by hotel and food services (170,000 new workers), wholesale and retail sales and repair services for automobiles and motorcycles (70,000 new workers), manufacturing (50,000 new workers) and state service administration and national defence (40,000 new workers).
The NSO reported that 13.78 million people were employed in the agricultural sector as of February, an increase by 330,000 jobs from January and 450,000 jobs from February last year.
Unemployment in February was reported at 245,000, representing 0.6 per cent – a decrease by 11,000 people from last year. Unemployment reportedly affected 321,000 people in January and 245,000 workers in February. (MCOT online news)
After the House of Representatives had voted to approve the first reading of the bill on the Government’s two-trillion-baht loan for infrastructure mega-projects, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Varathep Ratanakorn said that all the infrastructure investment projects would be scrutinized at all stages.
Speaking in the weekly program “Yingluck Government Meets the People” on 30 March 2013, Mr. Varathep said that the bill requires the planned projects to be initially screened by three government agencies before being submitted to the Cabinet for consideration.
The three agencies include the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Ministry of Finance, and the Bureau of the Budget. At the end of the fiscal year, the Government will be required to report to Parliament results of the implementation of the projects. During the implementation period, House committees and Senate committees may call for an examination of the projects at all times.
The House of Representatives on the night of 29 March 2013 voted 284 against 152 to pass the bill on the two-trillion-baht loan in the first reading. Twenty-one MPs abstained and seven refused to vote. A 36-member committee was formed to scrutinize the bill within 30 days before the second reading.
The Opposition agreed that the country needed huge investment in infrastructure development, but it was against the issuance of the bill, instead of acquiring funding through the national budget, since the bill would put a heavy debt burden on the country. When interest is combined, the country would repay five trillion baht for the loan within 50 years.