Thailand’s unemployment rate has dropped to 0.8% in the first quarter of 2023, according to the latest data from the National Statistical Office. This is the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.
According to the NSO poll, this is the first time in over four years that the jobless rate has fallen below 1%. The last time was in October 2019, just before the Covid-19 outbreak struck Thailand in early 2020, when it was seeing typical growth and a robust tourism industry.
The NSO attributed the decline in unemployment to the recovery of the tourism sector, which accounts for about 20% of Thailand’s GDP. The government’s stimulus measures, such as cash handouts and tax incentives, also helped boost domestic consumption and investment.
However, some economists warned that the unemployment rate may not reflect the true state of the labor market, as many workers have left the workforce or accepted lower-paying jobs. They also cautioned that the recovery may be fragile and uneven, depending on the progress of vaccination and the emergence of new variants of the virus.
The NSO said it will continue to monitor the labor market situation and provide timely and accurate statistics to support policy making and planning.