The salaries of employees in Thailand are expected to increase by 5% next year, which is less than the average of 5.2% within Asia, according to the latest survey by Mercer (Thailand), a US-based consulting firm on human resources.
In 2023, salaries domestically rose by 4.8%.
The prediction for next year is based on a survey of 617 Thai and foreign companies operating in the country carried out between April and June.
The salary increases will come from the goverment's stimulus package to boost the economy and its policy to build business confidence as well as tourism recovery, said Juckchai Boonyawat, president of Mercer (Thailand).
"The survey covers seven industries with median net sales revenue of around US$81 million," he said.
The seven industries are chemicals, retail and wholesale, transportation equipment, life sciences, consumer goods, high-tech business and some other types of manufacturing.
Companies operating in these industries, with 87% being the subsidiaries of foreign firms, have a total of 359,000 employees in Thailand.
The top three industries with the highest pay next year are automotive, followed by life sciences and high technology.
"These three industries need talented employees to help work in a competitive market. The auto makers especially need talented employees to serve the growth of the electric vehicle [EV] industry," he said.
According to Mercer (Thailand), Asian countries have different median salary increases, mainly determined by their level of development.
Salary growth in India is estimated to reach 9.3% in 2024, compared with Vietnam (7%), Indonesia (6.5%), the Philippines (5.7%), Malaysia (5.1%), Singapore (4.2%), China (5.2%), South Korea (4.4%), Japan (2.6%), Taiwan (3.8%) and Hong Kong (3.9%).
Mr Chakchai said industries that are labour intensive would be affected by the government's plan to increase the daily minimum wage to 400 baht.
"We advise our customers to adopt robotics, automation and digital technology to reduce business costs in the long term, but workers are still needed because technology cannot replace humans in some jobs," he said.
Businesses should also adjust themselves to work more effectively with younger generations, particularly those belonging to Generation Y and Generation Z, as employees in these two categories have high turnover.