“After Chinese government banned their citizens from travel abroad because of COVID-19, the number of people coming to register as unemployed has been rising quickly,” PPEO officer Thatkwan Surin told The Phuket News today (Feb 21).
“About 80 people come to register as unemployed every day. In total about 1,000 people have registered as unemployed from Jan 26-Feb 20,” she said.
The rise marked a 34% increase on the number of people formally registered as unemployed compared with the same period last year, Ms Thatkwan noted.
“They all used to work in the hospitality industry, as tour guides, hotel staff or boat drivers,” Ms Thatkwan said.
“Staff of hotels, tour operators and restaurants that opened especially to serve Chinese tourists are the main ones affected, as their companies have lost their main source of income and need to cut costs,” she added.
The spike in Phuket’s jobless has created a surplus of qualified candidates, Ms Thatkwan said.
“The PPEO currently has only 112 vacancies recorded in our system, with 335 people qualified to apply for those positions,” she explained.
“We have helped those people seeking work by registering them to receive compensation from social security, suggesting new jobs to them and we will hold a job market event on Mar 15,” Ms Thatkwan added.
“At the event, there will be more than 40 vacancies available, but that will be for around 1,000 people to apply for,” she added.