Thailand’s unemployment rate this year is set to increase to 1% due to political turmoil, up from 0.7-0.8% in 2013, said The Bangkok Post.
The Federation of Thai Industries vice-chariman Thanit Sorat was quoted as saying: “It is quite clear that Thailand will not have a new government until the latter half of this year due to the problems facing election procedures.”
The vacuum will delay public investment, which will affect private spending and consumption, said the report.
Yongyuth Chalamwong, research director at the Thailand Development Research Institute, said that if the political tension ends soon, the economy may contract in the first quarter but will gradually recover in the second, third and fourth quarters.
The Bangkok Post, however, said that this would not affect the labour force in a major way as Thailand has experienced low unemployment for years.
If economic growth stays lower than 4%, it will increase the unemployment rate to 1%, said Yongyuth.
The industries that would feel the impact of the economic slowdown are the electronics and appliance sectors that hire 40,000 works annually.
Thanin Pa-em, deputy secretary-general to the National Economic and Social Development Board, said the Bangkok shutdown has affected sectors such as tourism and cleaning service firms.