Thai Jobless Rate Hits 3-Year Low as Economy in 1Q Surges

Thailand’s unemployment rate reached a three-year low in the first quarter of 2023, data from the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) showed on Monday.

Unemployment rate dropped to 1.05% in the first quarter, compared to 1.15% in the final quarter of 2022 as the Thai economy started to recover, boosted by the tourism industry. Meanwhile, employment rose 2.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, up from a 1.5% from October-December 2022.

The Thai economy grew faster-than-expected in the first quarter, spurred by an uptick in private spending and tourism, which will help offset a decline in exports.

The Thai economy expanded by 2.7% in the months of January through March from a year earlier, beating expectations of economists polled by Reuters for a 2.3% growth.

An unemployment of 420,000 was the lowest since 1.03% recorded in the first quarter of 2020, before the Thai economy was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of 1Q23, Thailand has a workforce of 39.6 million, according to the NESDC.