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Journal of Contemporary Social Sciences and Humanities

ISSN 2985-0541 (Print)

ISSN 2985-055X (Online)

Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Informal Workers in Thailand

  • Kaewkwan Tangtipongkul, Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University, Bangkok 10200, Thailand, *Corresponding author, E-mail: kaewkwan@econ.tu.ac.th


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Thailand has negatively affected the promotion of continuous economic growth and productive employment. This study uses data from the Thai National Statistical Office’s Informal Worker Survey 2011-2021 from households sampling in Thailand. This study's early analysis used annual data from 2011-2021 to reflect changes related to the labor market, occupations, economic activities, and number of employments. The results of the study are shown by using diagrams to illustrate trends and changes over 10 years. In addition, the study provided an analysis of COVID-19’s impact on the labor market in Thailand by the mean differences between before the COVID-19 (2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020 and 2021) on estimated monthly income and total weekly working hours of the sample group by gender, educational level, occupation, and type of industry. The Thai National Statistical Office defines informal employment as employed persons with no social security from their employers. According to the annual data from 2011-2021, it was found that the number of informal employments in Thailand from the age of 15 to 55 years has decreased continuously during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020 and 2021. The average weekly working hours for female and male informal workers decreased significantly statistically during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-COVID-19. The average monthly earnings for male informal workers decreased significantly statistically during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-COVID-19, while the average monthly earnings for female informal workers remained statistically insignificant. The average monthly earnings and average total weekly working hours of informal workers in all educational levels during the COVID-19 pandemic declined statistically significantly, except for informal workers with a secondary education level and above where only the average weekly working hour declined statistically significantly. In addition, the average weekly working hours for all occupations decreased significantly statistically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, construction, and service occupations experienced a statistically significant decline in average monthly earnings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing various financial assistance measures to alleviate the issues of the informal labor market and the economic situation affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may be the path to economic recovery.

Keywords: COVID-19, informal labor market, employment, earnings, working hours, Thailand

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DOI: 10.14456/jcsh.2024.1


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