Thailand: Drought and disease menace job prospects hinh anh 1Drought will hurt employment in the agricultural sector and dampen farmers' incomes. (Source: Bangkok Post)

Bangkok (VNA) -  
Thailand's employment is projected to face numerous risks this year, with widespread drought, poor exports, the delay of the fiscal 2020 budget and the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) weighing on jobs.

Thosaporn Sirisamphand, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the agricultural sector usually helps absorb unemployment, but this year the sector may not offer any assistance because of the widespread drought.

Drought will hurt employment in the agricultural sector and dampen farmers' incomes, he said.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak has crippled the tourism sector, he said, adding that if it cannot be controlled, employment in the three main service sectors, namely wholesale-retail, transport and hotel-restaurant, will be hurt.

He said it is still too early to predict the unemployment rate for the first quarter and the whole year, as the NESDC needs to keep monitoring the effect of the outbreak.

The NESDC on February 29 reported that 37.5 million Thai people were employed in the fourth quarter of 2019, down 1.1 percent year-on-year, marking the third straight quarter of decrease.

Employment in the agricultural sector fell by 1.6 percent, while that in non-agricultural sectors decreased by 0.9 percent./.