Misery Skips Thailand as Jobless Rate Under 2% Since '09: Chart

Thailand is the happiest place on earth -- at least according to the Misery Index, which is calculated by adding together rates of unemployment and consumer-price inflation. The Southeast Asian nation of 69 million has long scored well on the scale of economic contentment, devised in the 1960s by American Arthur Okun, because its official jobless rate hasn’t been above 2 percent in almost seven years. This reflects a workforce where the biggest proportions are farmers or casual laborers, such as self-employed food vendors or motorcycle taxi drivers, many of whom aren’t counted in central bank figures.

— With assistance by Lee Miller

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