Labour shortages begin to bite; at least 400,000 recruits needed

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

THAILAND: Thailand’s Labour ministry has told local media it is preparing to recruit locals to fill more than 400,000 jobs that were left vacant by migrant workers who have returned to their home countries during the pandemic.

Thai Labour Minister, Suchart Chomklin, said migrant worker programmes have been suspended since the onset of Covid-19, resulting in labour shortages in many industries.

Chomklin said that was a demand for both local Thai workers and migrant workers for several industries including retail, electronics, construction, real estate, and industrial plants. A total of 112,759 Thais have registered for jobs with the Department of Employment (DoE). However, DoE is now considering job fairs to boost opportunities for local job seekers.

While the government says 400,000 recruits are needed to fix the current labour shortage, the Association of Outsourcing Agencies puts the figure at more than 800,000.


DoE is thus taking steps towards re-introducing migrant workers back into the Thai economy.


In an initial phase, the government plans to lift restrictions for 50,000-80,000 workers from neighbouring countries, who would still need to undertake a mandatory quarantine period.

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