Wage increase: EconThai’s projections for minimum daily wage

Picture courtesy of Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa, Unsplash

An anticipated meeting of the tripartite wage committee later this month is expected to sanction a second increase in the minimum daily wage for this year. However, the Employers’ Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry (EconThai) suggests the approved hike is unlikely to take the wage to the 400 baht mark.

According to Thanit Sorat, the vice-chair of EconThai, the committee, comprised of government representatives, employers, and employees, will convene on March 26. This follows a meeting held on February 27 where a proposal for a 1.5% increase from the preceding wage hike was positively received. The computation of the minimum wage is influenced by several factors, including labour productivity, GDP, and inflation, said Thanit.

“If the 1.5% hike is approved, overall wages will experience a slight increase, but the minimum daily wage will retain a figure below 400 baht (US$ 11).”

Thanit added that both employers and employees find this figure satisfactory.

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The latest increase, averaging 2.37%, or an additional 2 to 16 baht (US$0.056 to 0.45) per day, came into effect on January 1.

Thanit further revealed that the committee is also deliberating on the Labour Ministry’s request for an increase at the municipal level. This matter will also feature on the forthcoming meeting’s agenda.

A source from the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) disclosed that the review of wages has been prompted by a government announcement promising to raise the minimum daily wage to 400 baht within the year. As a result of the January increase, minimum wage workers in Phuket currently receive the highest national rate of 370 baht (US$10) per day, reported Bangkok Post.

The source also expressed concerns that the proposed second hike, initially planned for the following month, could impose a financial strain on business operators, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), despite the increment being relatively minor.

The source suggested that the government should consider implementing stimulus measures rather than instigating another wage increase.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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