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Amid Historic Unemployment, Chonburi Can’t Fill 10,000+ Jobs

The jobs are there for the jobless, but are there enough Thais willing or skilled enough to take them?

Labor Chairman visits King Pac Industrial Co. Chonburi Thailand

For all the talk about historic unemployment in Thailand, Chonburi business leaders say there are more than 10,000 jobs available in the province. The question is are there enough Thais willing or skilled enough to take them?

Adul Saengsingkaew, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Labor, toured the eastern province on Friday to gauge the problems of employers and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Adul and Labor Ministry officials met with the public and entrepreneurs to hear about their challenges. The bureaucrats acknowledged different sectors’ handling of unemployment, skills development under “new normal” conditions and the work of the Eastern Economic Corridor Labor Administration Center.

The officials visited Chonburi City Hall and Muang District’s King Pac Industrial Co., a plastic bag manufacturer with more than 2,500 employees.

About 55 percent of workers there are Thai and 45 percent Cambodian. The company has a welfare system for its workers, social security and worker compensation funds, diligence and meal allowances, and other welfare benefits.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, the company hired more workers because of higher demand for plastic products with the support of the ministry, which encouraged hiring of local, instead of foreign, workers.

Chonburi Province has 16,247 registered companies with 756,599 employees While 97,751 people who have filed unemployment claims due to the adverse effects of Covid-19, the province still has 10,237 open positions, business leaders said.

Many of those jobs, however, are low-paying factory or laborer jobs that many Thais turn up their noses at. Others require vocational skills and education many Thais don’t have.

Unemployment applicants have received 756 billion baht in compensation. Seven businesses ceased their operations, affecting 4,523 workers.

The government is speeding assistance to those who are still unemployed and developing worker skills in response to business needs.