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Quarter of Thais Fear Losing Jobs Before Pandemic Ends

As unemployment surges, YouGov survey of those still employed finds half willing to take pay cut to keep job

YouGov Thailand Job Security Survey Results Chart

With unemployment surging, a quarter of Thais still employed say they fear they will lose their jobs before the coronavirus pandemic ends, a new survey by international market-research firm YouGov concluded.

Despite the government officially claiming unemployment in the kingdom at less than 2 percent, independent research shows it’s actually at almost 10 percent due to Covid-19. The kingdom is projected to suffer the worst economic downturn than any Southeast Asian state due to its high dependence on global tourism.

Surveys of 1,479 Thais employed in full-time jobs on YouGov Omnibus found job security – the fear of losing one’s job – is a major concern among of a quarter of the population compared with just 4 percent pre-Covid-19.

Over one in twenty (7 percent) feel ‘very insecure’, almost two in ten (17 percent) feel ‘somewhat insecure’. A third (32 percent) feel neither secure nor insecure and more than two in five (44 percent) feel secure in their jobs.

High-income earners (monthly household income of more than 45,000 baht) are the most likely to feel secure in their jobs, whereas low-income earners (monthly household income of less than 15,000 baht) are the least likely to say the same (52 percent vs. 37 percent).

Men are also more likely to feel secure in their jobs than women (48 percent vs. 40 percent).

The majority (94 percent) of employed Thais are experiencing some level of stress over losing their jobs – only a small percentage (6 percent) feel ‘not at all stressed’.

About ten in ten (18 percent) feel a little stressed, half (49 percent) feel somewhat stressed, and over a quarter (27 percent) feel very stressed. Unsurprisingly, those who are feeling ‘very insecure’ in their jobs are the most likely to feel very stressed – with almost two-thirds (65 percent) saying so, as opposed to those who feel ‘very secure’ (21 percent).

Can you find another job?

In the event of losing their jobs tomorrow, two-thirds (67 percent) believe it will be difficult to find another one of similar pay and benefits. Almost two in five (38 percent) think it’ll be ‘somewhat difficult’ and three in ten (29 percent) think it’ll be ‘very difficult’ to find a new one. Two in ten (22 percent) are indifferent, and the remaining one in ten (9 percent) would find it easy.

Mid-income earners (monthly household income between 15,001-44,999 baht) are the most likely to find it difficult to find another job, and high-income earners are the least likely (68 percent vs. 66 percent).

A third (33 percent) believe they will be able to find a new job within three months should they find themselves unemployed tomorrow. Two in ten (20 percent) think this will be between three to six months, and the other two in ten (19 percent) think this will take between six months and a year. One in six (17 percent) think it will take longer than a year to find another job, and the remaining one in ten (11 percent) are unsure.

Willing to take pay cut?

In the same circumstance of losing their jobs, nearly half (45 percent) of Thais are willing to take a pay cut of up to 20 percent to find a job in a similar position.

Two in ten (22 percent) are willing to take a pay cut between 21 to 40 percent, and one in ten (10 percent) are willing to take a pay cut of more than 40 percent. A quarter (23 percent) are unwilling to take a pay cut at all.

Those aged 25-34 are the least willing to take a pay cut, and those aged 18-24 are the most willing (28 percent vs. 16 percent). Women are also more likely to take a pay cut than men (26 percent vs. 19 percent).

YouGov is an international, full-service market research agency that employs sophisticated technology to ensure the collection of high quality, in-depth and continuous data for leading businesses and institutions.