More than 13,000 job-seekers attended the two-day Job Fair 2009, which ended yesterday, at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon mall.
Most were new graduates lining up to register for job-seeking and tonkla archeep (“occupation sprouts”) vocational training. The fair, hosted by the Labour Ministry’s Department of Em-ployment, offered thousands of positions with nearly 70 companies. Department chief Pichai Ekpitakdamrong, who inspected the fair yesterday, said it could statistically be expected to find jobs for 30-40 per cent of seekers.

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13,000 seek jobs

Thailand is among the region’s more open economies, with exports accounting for around 65% of gross domestic product (GDP)

Thailand’s banks and finance companies were at the heart of the country’s 1997 collapse

It represents one of few times in recent years that fiscal and monetary policies have been complementarily calibrated. A grinding political conflict, pitting supporters and detractors of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a 2006 military coup, has hobbled successive governments’ ability to devise and implement effective economic policies.
The debilitating conflict climaxed last November when military-linked anti-government protestors closed Bangkok’s two international airports for over a week, crippling the money-spinning tourism and air freight dependent export sectors. The Bank of Thailand has estimated the closure cost the Thai economy as much as 290 billion baht, with hotels estimated to have lost 140 billion baht due to cancellations.

Despite all the new government’s fiscal efforts, the mounting economic slowdown is still expected to take a heavy human toll. Local newspapers carry near daily announcements of major new industrial and service sector layoffs, with sub-contracted labor so far being the hardest hit.
The Ministry of Industry predicted in January that 40,000 auto parts makers are at risk of losing their jobs as car assembly production has fallen off sharply. The Electrical and Electronics Institute meanwhile estimated that 30,000 workers would likely lose their jobs this year, on top of the 30,000 who were laid off from the third quarter of 2008.

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