Thailand facing severe labour shortfall of 300,000 this year

Thailand facing severe labour shortfall of 300,000 this year

Thai industries are facing a severe labour shortage, with a shortfall of almost 300,000 workers this year, says the Office of Industrial Economics.

Director-general Somchai Harnhirun said demand for labour in 2013 and 2014 is estimated at 5.85 million and 5.91 million, respectively, but the actual supply is 5.46 and 5.51 million.

More than 95% of the shortage of 365,860 workers are vocational graduates.

The textile/apparel sector faces the highest shortage of workers (43,520), followed by the automotive sector (36,606), food (30,825) and electronics sectors (25,600). There are also shortages in the plastics, wood and furniture and jewellery as well as steel sectors.

Mr Somchai said the shortage will become even more severe due to the ageing population, while the demand for labour will increase due to the growth of the economy.

"Although part of the labour shortage, especially unskilled workers, are currently replaced by foreign labour and machinery, the government is also working on a workforce database to match the education system with the skills needed for each economic sector," said Mr Somchai.

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