Thailand has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, with only 0.56 percent of the people unemployed compared to India’s 9.4 percent and the Philippines’s 6 percent, said a Bloomberg article.
Bloomberg said the unemployment rate was due to structural problems rather than differences in defining the term ‘unemployment’. It said the agricultural sector took the bulk of labor forces, with more than 40 percent of the Thai population working in the field, according to the Bank of Thailand spokesman, Chirathep Senivongs Na Ayudhya.
It also said many of the unemployed in Thailand often find jobs in “informal sectors,” and thus are not defined as being gainfully employed. The informal sectors comprise street vendors, motorcycle taxi drivers, the self-employed, and those who do not work in office, which include the underemployed, people who are highly skilled but work for low wages or low skill jobs, and part-time workers looking for a full-time job. Some laborers working on the farm are also counted as underemployed or seasonally employed.
Another factor contributing to the low unemployment rate in Thailand, according to the article, is the country’s low fertility rate, which means older people– 60 or above–who are retiring or no longer in the work force make up a large part of population in the country. Other factors include unregistered foreign workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, who have yet to be included in the unemployment rate. Thailand has registered 1.6 million foreign workers since last year.