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Ministry of Labor dismissed rumors of raise the minimum wage to 492 baht

The Ministry of Labor has dismissed claims on social media of plans to raise the minimum wage to 492 baht, up from 300 baht currently. 

Labor Minister Suchart Chomklin said the minimum wage is assessed by a tripartite committee representing the government, employers and employees. The current minimum wage has been in place since January 1, 2020, and is undergoing review by the committee.

The minister said evaluation of the minimum wage for Bangkok and other provinces will be completed by July. The committee will then work to complete its consideration of all relevant data by September.

Minister Suchart explained that Thailand’s minimum wage is higher than in most ASEAN member states, barring Singapore, and is in fact much higher than for Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar. 

He also said moves to raise the minimum wage would need to account for factors such as inflation and the cost of living in each province. He added that the government has assisted workers through various programs.

Minister Suchart further noted that the minimum wage tends to be more of an issue for migrant workers, as Thais are generally employed in occupations that pay more than the minimum.

In December 2019, the National Wage Committee recommended that the minimum daily wage for unskilled labour be increased by five to six baht, from 308 to 330 baht to 313–336 baht, effective 1 January 2020.The cabinet approved the proposal on 11 December.

The move imposed 10 new minimum wage levels, depending on the province. The highest, 336-baht a day, was for for Chonburi and Phuket Provinces, and the lowest rate of 313 baht for the three southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala. Bangkok’s minimum wage was 331 baht.

Wages are the major source of household income in Thailand, although wage income distribution varies by region: Almost three-quarters of the population in Bangkok are in households that receive wage income, compared with less than half in the northern region.  During the period 2007–2014, wage income grew markedly, and then began to drop starting in 2015. As of 2020 wage growth stagnation afflicts most occupations. Wage growth was negative in urban areas, but positive in rural areas.

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