Covid-19 takes heavy toll on employment, economy: poll

Covid-19 takes heavy toll on employment, economy: poll

๋Job seekers scramble for positions avialabe at the Job Expo Thailand event at the Bitec convention centre on Sept 26, 2020. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
๋Job seekers scramble for positions avialabe at the Job Expo Thailand event at the Bitec convention centre on Sept 26, 2020. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Covid-19 pandemic has sharply raised unemployment in the country, putting people in financial trouble, according to a survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted online on 15-18 on 1,155 people throughout the country. Respondents were allowed to choose more than one answer to each question.

Asked how their financial situation had been affected in the Covid-19 situation, 47.10% said their savings had decreased; 38.65% had to spend more on healthcare and protection from Covid-19; 36.40% had to spend less on clothes and cosmetics; 26.39% had to cut daily travel expenses; 22.59% had to pay more for daily food and drinks; and 22.49% were in deeper credit card debt.

Asked where they found the money to cope with emergencies, 55.23% depleted their personal savings; 42.57% borrowed from family members; 32.98% sought a bank loan; 27.70% borrowed from friends and close associates; and 26.56% used a cash card.

Asked how the rise in unemployment had affected them, 65.94% said it had caused stress; 61.51% said it was the result of a long economic downturn; 60.30% said it had sparked more crimes, particularly robbery and theft; 59.25% said Covid-19 was to blame; and 53.00% said it had caused family problems.

Asked what the government should do to solve the unemployment problem, 56.66% suggested it should provide occupational training and promote supplementary jobs; 49.52% said it should quickly distribute handouts; 48.39% said it should provide more skills training; 47.08% wanted it to create jobs for the unemployed; and 46.30% said it should run supplementary employment programmes, pending permanent employment.

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