Thailand floods to cost 100,000 jobs

The Labour Ministry figures that only about 100,000 workers would lose their jobs permanently as a result of layoffs following the floods, instead of up to 920,000 as estimated recently by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).

Permanent secretary Somkiat Chayasriwong said yesterday that most of the 100,000 were hired by subcontractors with bulk employment deals.

Out of the total of 993,929 flood-affected workers, 661,627 are only temporarily out of work and would likely to be re-employed, he said.

The NESDB estimated unemployment in the last four-month period at 1.8-2.3 per cent, or 780,000-920,000 workers, after 28,678 businesses in 39 flooded provinces had to close.

The ministry has reported that 14,647 businesses have reopened and re-employed 332,302 workers, he added.

The Cabinet yesterday approved in principle an aid package under the Social Security Office for 24 million workers in the informal economy, such as hawkers, vendors, taxi drivers and motorcycle taxi drivers.

One measure involves an SSO-affiliated pension fund. Informal workers currently pay 70 per cent of their monthly contribution, at the rate of Bt100 for standard benefits and Bt150 for better coverage.

Labour Minister Phadermchai Sasomsap, who proposed the assistance package, said he would soon change the contribution ratio to 50 per cent to help informal workers.

Source: Asia One