Experts warn unemployment will rise as world economy slows down


The Economic and Business Research Center for Reform at Rangsit University’s Institute of Economics predicts Thailand’s ease of doing business will improve due to positive impacts of long-term investment, but fears that in the short term, the unemployment rate will rise and personal income will fall due to the domestic and global economy slowdown.

The Centre’s director Asst Prof Dr Anusorn Tamajai said the country’s ease of doing business rate, which will be announced next month by the World Bank, should see an improvement. “Our rating should benefit from long-term investment and increased efficiency of state agencies due to digital transformation,” he said. “However, some government efforts are still plagued by overwhelming procedures that cause delays as we can see from its belated attempt to solve the flood situation in Ubon Ratchathani.”
According to Anusorn, in the next 6 months unemployment rate will rise while personal income will decrease due to the slowdown of domestic and global economies. “World economic expansion hit its lowest point in 10 years or 2.9 per cent,” he said. “In August, exports decreased by 4 per cent while imports plunged by 14.6 per cent, reflecting a change in consumers’ behaviour.”
It is unlikely that the export sector will improve in the last quarter. If any improvement is visible, it won’t come until early next year at the soonest, he added.
Furthermore, Anusorn also said that the decreasing exports and domestic consumption over the past 8 months will start affecting the manufacturing and employment sectors more violently. “Expansion in transport equipment sector decreased by -10.7 per cent from previously forecast, the computer and electronic sector decreased by -9.5 per cent, the chemical sector by -6.9 per cent, the mining sector by -3.4 per cent, and the automotive sector by -3.2 per cent,” he said.
“In the next 6 months, labourers who earn Bt15,000-Bt20,000 will be at high risk of getting their working hours cut and eventually be replaced by robots and automatic systems,” said the director. “Meanwhile, workers 50 years old and over will be at the highest risk of being laid off.”