Chonburi province releases official unemployment statistics, but they don’t reveal the whole picture

Chonburi-

The Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Labor, Police General Adul Saengsingkaew visited the Chonburi area today to look at the employment situation in the province since the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the visit, which included a tour of Chonburi City Hall and King Pac Industrial Company Limited, a company with 2,500 employees based in Mueang Chonburi that makes plastic bags, officials with the Ministry of Labor also released the official unemployment numbers for the province.

According to the numbers, Chonburi province has 16,247 business venues, 756,599 employees and 97,751 people who have filed unemployment claims due to the adverse effects of COVID-19. They have received 756 billion baht in compensation. Seven businesses ceased their operations, affecting 4,523 workers. However, there are 10,237 positions available in the province currently hiring according to the Ministry of Labor.

These numbers, however, according to entertainment and tourism industry leaders in Pattaya do not reflect the true situation.  This is because many workers in Chonburi, especially in Pattaya, are considered “informal” workers which are not officially counted by the Ministry of Labor. Tens of thousands of workers in the bar, hotel, restaurant, nightclub and construction industries are informal and not covered by social security or tracked by the Ministry of Labor. Street vendors, food cart vendors, DJs, performers at clubs and maids are also generally informal workers.

For the most part, the Ministry of Labor and Thailand’s unemployment numbers disregard the informal sector, but if one takes that into effect the number of unemployed and businesses that have gone out of business is many, many times higher say entertainment industry leaders. The numbers also don’t reflect employees who may have been forced to take a significant pay cut or were furloughed during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Ministry of Labor highlighted that many positions were still available, notating the 10,000 open positions, many at factories, for those unemployed from the Covid-19 crisis. However, many people in the informal sector were reportedly not interested in many of those positions which traditionally paid between 7,000 and 12,000 baht a month.

Photo: Royal Thai Government News Bureau

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