The unemployment rate in Thailand is expected to fall in the second half of this year as the economy is likely to pick up, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)

The board reported that the number of the unemployed in the country rose to 400,000 in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 1 percent compared to the same period last year. Most of the unemployed were farmers, who lost their jobs due to this year’s drought situation.

The number of the employed stood at 38.4 million and the rate of people who found jobs dropped 2.8 percent during the April-June period.

Household debts decreased slightly in conjunction with the economic slowdown, which is partly due to the end of the “First Car Rebate Programme”.

Consumer spending also declined as more Thais were increasingly concerned about their income levels and the possibility of securing a good career in the future.

Outstanding debts with commercial banks amounted to 3.3 trillion THB.-VNA