BANGKOK — Thailand’s main planning agency says that 8.4 million people are at risk of losing their jobs this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the tourism sector being most badly affected.
The National Economic and Social Development Council estimated Thursday that the fall in the number of foreign and domestic tourists could mean 2.5 million people, or 64% of the approximately 3.9 million workers in the tourism sector, could become unemployed.
It said in a report that 1.5 million, or 25% of the 5.9 million person industrial workforce, also could be laid off due to the coronavirus crisis reducing demand that was already weakened by trade wars. Possibilities for expansion still exist where domestic demand is high, such as for food and beverages, and for products considered necessary, including electronics.
The jobs of 4.4 million people, or 43% of 10.3 million people working in the service sector outside of tourism, are also at risk. Retail jobs were especially affected by restrictions imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19, many of which have now been lifted.