Thailand may face labour shortage before five years

Thailand may face labour shortage

Successful birth control in Thailand may cause a shortage of labourers in the country in “less than five years,” warned a senior Labour Ministry official Sunday.

Songsri Boonba, deputy director-general of the Employment Department, said a study by the Labour Market Research Division found that demand for labour in Thailand between 2010-2014 will increase every year, especially in the production, agriculture, industry and service sectors.

It is estimated that demand for labourers in the country would be at least 38 million by then, but many workers who were laid off last year have now returned to the agricultural sector while fewer numbers of new graduates have joined the industrial sector, not as high as the 400,000-500,000 workers needed by the industrial sector as claimed earlier by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), Ms Songsri said.

A number of industries now face worker shortages, she admitted. Workforce people in Thailand are aged between 40-59 but it is worrisome that the number of those aged between 25-39 who would replace aging people to retire soon have declined every year due to successful birth control.

Last year alone, more than 200,000 people disappeared from the workforce system in Thailand, said Ms Songsri.

If the situation does not improve, the production sector, especially the industrial will have to use more advanced technology to fill the shortage of workers, she said.

“Concerned agencies such as the BoI (Board of Investment) and the Industry Ministry will have to promote industries which employ few workers but use high technology in order to cope with the current situation. If not, the worker shortage would become a severe problem within five years,” Ms Songsri said. (TNA)