Thailand’s employment growth slows despite tourism recovery

BANGKOK (Xinhua/ APP): Thailand’s employment growth slowed in the second quarter of this year as droughts affected farming despite improvements in the vital tourism sector with an inflow of foreign visitors, official data showed on Monday.

The southeast Asian country’s labor force amounted to 39.7 million individuals in the April-June period, representing a 1.7-percent year-on-year increase, a slowdown from an expansion of 2.4% in the previous three months, according to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).

The growth was mainly due to an expansion of the non-agricultural sector, with employment in hotels and restaurants jumping 11.7 percent from a year earlier, attributed to the recovery of the domestic economy and inbound tourists, the NESDC said in a report.

However, employment in the agricultural sector saw a dip of 0.2 percent year on year to 11.6 million jobs, partly due to the impact of drought, which was linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon, the report said.

The agency noted that as current cumulative amounts of rain across all regions remained below normal levels, the growing impact of drought on agricultural employment and income adversely affected farming activities.

The kingdom’s unemployment rate was registered at 1.06 percent in the second quarter, edging up from 1.05 percent in the January-March period, according to the NESDC.