Serious layoffs predicted in the second half of the year

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A labour expert of a private think tank has warned that the problem of layoffs is likely to get worse in the second half of the year as local industries will start to feel the effects of global economic slowdown while the government’s labour expert has assured that the layoffs problem is normal.

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Mr Yongyuth Chalaemwong, director of labour development of Thailand Development Research Institute, said that layoffs problem for the second half of the year is a matter of serious concern as local industries will start to feel the impacts from global economic slowdown which hurts consumption forcing the industries to cut back production.

He pointed out that labour intensive industries such as garment, electronic parts, automobile, leatherware and plastic will be most vulnerable.

He predicted that the problem of layoffs will become more serious and urged the government to take precautions to accommodate workers who are to be laid off such as to provide them with skill training so that they can work on jobs which require higher skills where there is a shortage of skilled labour.

However, Mr Thirapol Khunmuang, spokesman of the Labour Ministry, disclosed that unemployment rates for April-June period were 1 percent, 1.2 percent and 1 percent respectively.

This shows that the problem of layoffs is still normal and there are no signs that businesses are in trouble to the extent that they will resort to mass layoffs to save costs, he said.

Citing talks with Japanese investors last month, Mr Thirapol said he was assured by the investors that they would not move their production plants out of Thailand as Thai labourers are skilled and are acquainted with technology.