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Jobless with degrees rises again to 220,000

Sep 04. 2017
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By The Nation

The unemployment rate among new graduates spiked in the second quarter of this year despite the acceleration of Thailand’s economic growth.

The unemployment rate slightly increased to 1.2 per cent, up from 1.1 per cent in the same period last year, with a total of 470,000 unemployed workers, said Porametee Vimolsiri, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board on Monday.

“The unemployment rate spiked at 24.1 per cent among those who have never been employed before, as it was the graduation season and there was large influx of new graduates entering the labour market,” said Porametee.

It is estimated that some 39 per cent of unemployed people had university degrees, according to the NESDB.

Porametee said that it is normal for this group to experience a high rate of unemployment in the second and third quarters each year. The rate declines as the fourth quarter approaches.

NESDB figures, however, reveal that unemployment has been trending up among this group between 2013 and 2016. In 2013, some 140,000 new graduates were unemployed. It increased to 180,000 in 2016 and again to 220,000 in the first half of this year.

The main factors behind the trend include a mismatch between qualifications of graduates and what the market demand of them, and the overall lack of private investment that would increase economic growth, according to Porametee.

Thai economy’s growth in the second quarter reached 3.7 per cent, up from 3.3 per cent in the first quarter.

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