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Thailand’s Ministry of Labor on Tuesday (November 3) said it had proposed the cabinet to set aside 1.5 billion baht (48.3 million U.S. dollars) to hire 18,000 laborers in six Andaman provinces in a bid to boost employment crippled by the COVID-19 fallout.

“The budget move is aimed at mitigating the severe impact of COVID-19 on Thailand’s coastal tourism sector,” explained Labor Minister Suchart Chomklin.

The minister said the labor and interior ministries will work together to recruit laborers to work on public projects such as infrastructure.

The funding will come from the existing 400-billion-baht (12.9 billion U.S. dollars) economic revival budget, said Suchart.

Of the 18,000 jobs, 8,000 will be created in Phuket, with 2,000 in each of the five other Andaman provinces.

Workers will be hired for 10 months on a daily wage of around 330 baht (10.63 U.S. dollars) to 340 baht (10.95 U.S. dollars).

The Thailand Development Research Institute said in September that the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out jobs in the hospitality industry as Thai border closures forced visitor arrivals to drop to zero, compared to 6.6 million from January to March.

Thailand’s border remained closed except for tourists under the Special Tourist Visa program launched by the government in October.

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