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Business has stalled for Thailand's famous tuk-tuks.   © AP
Asia Insight

Thailand's COVID crisis exposes the reality of '2% unemployment'

Official figure masks increasing woes that could add to premier's headaches

MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writer | Thailand

BANGKOK -- Wanchalerm Noomuean yearns for the days he was known on Phuket as tour guide Jimmy, and every month showed hundreds of international visitors around the famous Thai island.

COVID-19 wiped out the 31-year-old's job 15 months ago. While Jimmy remained on Phuket and the Thai government in July started allowing inoculated international visitors onto the island, their numbers are tiny and there is no demand for tour guides. The outlook for Jimmy getting back a job he loved isn't good.

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