Employment demand pops last month

Employment demand pops last month

Thailand's labour force is recovering from a plunge last year that saw 3 million people lose their jobs because of the pandemic, though people with IT skill sets are in great demand as organisations gear up for digital transformation, according to job search platform JobsDB.

People in Thailand need to improve their skill sets for job prospects, while the country needs to entice highly skilled foreigners to work here with attractive incentives, the platform said.

Pornladda Dathratwibul, JobsDB Thailand country manager, said the country's employment demand in February recovered based on job search platforms and other online channels, with a 24.7% rise from the average of the two lowest points last year -- the first and second outbreaks.

"This is a great sign of recovery in the Thai labour market," she said at a news conference about the country's job market outlook after the crisis.

Last year, one of the two low points for online job announcements happened in April, when listings plunged 35.6% from January 2020.

Another happened in December during the second outbreak, when online job announcements fell 45.5% from January 2020, or 37.9% from August 2020.

According to Ms Pornladda, unless another pandemic wave spreads, employment is expected to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels in early 2022.

The country's employment is expected to grow nearly 5% year-on-year in 2021, she said.

Sales, customer service and business development is the job category with the highest proportion of job announcements placed on JobsDB in the first quarter this year, followed by IT and engineering.

Comparing first quarter this year with the second half last year, job announcements for marketing and public relations saw the biggest growth at 29.7%, trailed by transport and logistics with 24.7% and manufacturing at 20.8%.

IT jobs recorded growth of 10%.

"There is a shortage of people with IT skills as every business needs these people for digital transformation following the pandemic," said Ms Pornladda.

"Fresh graduates in this field can earn 20,000-40,000 baht a month."

New jobs have emerged in novel IT technologies, such as artificial intelligence developer, blockchain and crypto consultant, machine learning engineers, elastic search engineers, as well as those who have knowledge of the Personal Data Protection Act, she said.

Based on salaries at the officer level, IT personnel receives the highest pay of 23,225-41,122 baht per month, followed by those with specific skills, such as Japanese interpreters, business analysts and legal officers, with pay of 22,872-39,331 baht. Those in the telecom field can expect pay of 22,785-38,612 baht, according to the platform.

Thailand ranked 35th in the world as a work destination targeted by foreigners last year, up from 39th in 2018, said Ms Pornladda. Singapore topped the list.

She said workers need to have so-called meta skills for self-development, meaning self-understanding, creativity and idea flexibility. They also need a growth mindset for self-improvement, said Ms Pornladda.

In the future, jobs that could be most affected by technology are those with general functions without a specific skill, offering salaries of less than 30,000 baht a month, as well as contractors or temporary workers, paying less than 16,000 baht, she said.

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