Thailand’s employment growth lost momentum in the second quarter of this year due to droughts impacting agriculture, even as the vital tourism sector saw improvements with an influx of foreign visitors, official data revealed on Monday.
During the April-June period, the labor force in this Southeast Asian nation numbered 39.7 million individuals, marking a 1.7 percent year-on-year rise. This marked a slowdown compared to the 2.4 percent expansion witnessed in the previous three months, according to data from the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).
The growth was predominantly spurred by the non-agricultural sector, where employment in hotels and restaurants surged by 11.7 percent from the previous year. The NESDC report attributed this boost to the recovery of the domestic economy and an increase in inbound tourists.
However, employment in the agricultural sector witnessed a marginal decline of 0.2 percent year on year, totaling 11.6 million jobs. This decline was partly attributed to the impact of drought, associated with the El Niño weather phenomenon, as outlined in the report.
The agency underlined that with cumulative rainfall across all regions remaining below normal levels, the deepening effects of the drought on agricultural employment and income had an unfavorable influence on farming activities.
According to NESDC data, the country’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly from 1.05 percent in the January-March period to 1.06 percent in the second quarter.