Unemployment hit 5-year high in Q1

Unemployment hit 5-year high in Q1

Jobseekers browse positions at the Bangkok Job Fair 2021 held in March of this year at the Fortune Town shopping complex. Apichart Jinakul
Jobseekers browse positions at the Bangkok Job Fair 2021 held in March of this year at the Fortune Town shopping complex. Apichart Jinakul

The pandemic drove the country's unemployment rate up to 1.96% in the first quarter, the highest level in five years, while the IT sector saw the highest number of job postings compared with other industries in the first half of this year, according to job search platform JobsDB.

"Thailand's unemployment rate in the first quarter reached the highest level in five years at 1.96%," said Pornladda Dathratwibul, country manager at JobsDB Thailand, during a virtual briefing. "Job demand both on digital job-seeking platforms and other online channels recovered with an increase of 6.7% compared with the second half of 2020."

According to Ms Pornladda, the IT sector had the highest proportion of job postings with JobsDB at 9.6% in the first six months of this year, followed by manufacturing at 6.2%, wholesale and retail at 5.5% and financial services at 5.4%.

However, when considering the growth of job postings in the first half of 2021 compared with the second half of last year, the highest rise was seen in positions in the electronics and electrical equipment sector with 52.6% growth. This was followed by insurance with an increase of 48%, manufacturing with an increase of 41.7%, property development with a jump of 36.8%, along with positions in financial services, which grew by 36.6%.

In terms of the most in-demand jobs, sales, customer service and business development ranked first with 15.3%, followed by IT with 14.8%, engineering with 10%, and marketing/public relations with 8.6%.

The survey also shows that the ratio of job vacancies to job applications is 1:80.

Ms Pornladda pointed out that the fourth wave of the pandemic dealt a heavy blow to job recruitment, sending wholesale and retail recruitment postings down 23% from May to July.

Food and beverage and catering job postings fell 18.8% and manufacturing job postings dropped 16.9%.

Only IT, trading/distribution and telecom jobs saw an increase in postings, up 0.7%, 0.9% and 14.3%, respectively.

Among job seekers, jobs in manufacturing were the most desirable in the first half of this year, followed by professional services, merchandise, engineering and IT.

Meanwhile, JobsDB partnered with Boston Consulting Group and The Network to conduct a global survey entitled Global Talent Survey, with over 200,000 respondents from 20 industries in 190 countries. In Thailand, 50% of workers wished to work remotely, which was the same as the global response to this item.

Australia, Japan and Singapore were the most desirable countries in terms of Thais seeking to work for overseas employers remotely. Media, IT, digital science and engineers are the most popular jobs among Thais wishing to work overseas.

Thailand was ranked 35th globally for work destinations among foreigners in 2020, up from 39th in 2019.

"Foreigners with special skills now want to work in Thailand, unlike in the past when those with labour skills wanted to come," she noted.

The survey indicates jobs in manufacturing and mechanics are the jobs most severely impacted by the pandemic, followed by the service sector, art/creative jobs and customer services.

The survey also shows Gen Y and Z are the most open to upskilling and reskilling. They desire IT, language and leadership skills.

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