10 million Thai jobs could be lost from COVID-19 outbreak
Job losses in Thailand could hit the 10 million mark if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag on for the next few months, according to the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
The Southeast Asian nation, which has recorded over 2000 cases of infection and 40 deaths, has imposed a nationwide night curfew with malls closed and activities discouraged to curb the spread of the virus.
The outbreak has already cost 7 million jobs in the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia. And that figure will only go up if the pandemic continues for the next couple of months.
“We think about 7 million jobs have been lost already, and the figure will hit 10 million if the outbreak drags on for two to three months,” said Kalin Sarasin, a council member and the head of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
The council of government and business agencies are preparing to propose support measures, which include soft loans, tax breaks, and financial support to retain jobs, to the government, said council chairman Thosaporn Sirisumphand.
Thailand, which has a workforce of around 38 million, is heading into a recession, with the economy forecasted to contract 5.3% this year. This would be the weakest performance since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.