Thailand to face severe labour shortage

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myanmar workers Thailand1Thailand could face a shortage of about 5 million labourers in the next 12 years if migrant workers from Myanmar – the vast majority of foreign labourers in Thailand – return home to take on comparably or even better paid jobs that are opening up in Myanmar’s booming economy.

The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) interviewed over 5,000 Myanmar workers in seven Thai provinces that employ the largest numbers of migrants, with 80 per cent expressing a desire to return home – and and 41 per cent of these would do so within the next five years.

Myanmar workers in Thailand, who mostly work on rubber plantations, in forestry and fishery businesses, are often employed under harsh conditions and underpaid, especially those without work permits, which is the majority. The official minimum salary in Thailand of 300 baht a day does technically also apply to Myanmar nationals, but many are getting less.

Some Myanmar workers who legally came to Thailand through overseas job agencies are also exposed to unfair treatment and exploitation. While there have been efforts of both the Thai and the Myanmar government in the past, the situation has not improved.

The outcome of the survey suggests that sectors and areas that offer lower incomes, such as agriculture and fisheries, especially in border provinces, will be hit hardest by returns of Myanmar workers to their homeland in the short term.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand could face a shortage of about 5 million labourers in the next 12 years if migrant workers from Myanmar – the vast majority of foreign labourers in Thailand – return home to take on comparably or even better paid jobs that are opening up in Myanmar’s booming economy.

Reading Time: 1 minute

myanmar workers Thailand1Thailand could face a shortage of about 5 million labourers in the next 12 years if migrant workers from Myanmar – the vast majority of foreign labourers in Thailand – return home to take on comparably or even better paid jobs that are opening up in Myanmar’s booming economy.

The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) interviewed over 5,000 Myanmar workers in seven Thai provinces that employ the largest numbers of migrants, with 80 per cent expressing a desire to return home – and and 41 per cent of these would do so within the next five years.

Myanmar workers in Thailand, who mostly work on rubber plantations, in forestry and fishery businesses, are often employed under harsh conditions and underpaid, especially those without work permits, which is the majority. The official minimum salary in Thailand of 300 baht a day does technically also apply to Myanmar nationals, but many are getting less.

Some Myanmar workers who legally came to Thailand through overseas job agencies are also exposed to unfair treatment and exploitation. While there have been efforts of both the Thai and the Myanmar government in the past, the situation has not improved.

The outcome of the survey suggests that sectors and areas that offer lower incomes, such as agriculture and fisheries, especially in border provinces, will be hit hardest by returns of Myanmar workers to their homeland in the short term.

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