ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai jobs market contracted in 2014: ILO
THAILAND’S employment contracted by 691,000 last year in the face of a sluggish economy and a notable decline in the number of men working in agriculture and construction, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The ILO released its latest Asia-Pacific Labour Market Update this month.
The update revealed that while most countries in the Asia Pacific enjoyed modest employment gains, Thailand experienced employment contraction.
On a bright note, Thailand managed to achieve a sizeable decrease in income inequality, from 45.3 points to 39.5 points, between 1990 and 2010.
During these two decades, the ratio of the income share held by the richest and poorest 10 per cent of the population - the decile dispersion ratio - decreased 3.8 points in the country.
In addition, Thailand has seen strong wage growth of more than 5 per cent annually in recent years, thanks mainly to the government policy to significantly raise the minimum wage in 2012 and |2013.
However, it should be noted that Thailand has become less capital-intensive despite a falling labour share.
The ILO also pointed out a key challenge that Thailand and some other rapidly ageing societies such as China and Singapore will have to tackle.
Thailand is projected to have approximately 36 elderly persons (aged 65 and over) for every 100 working-age people (aged 15 to 64) in 2035; that is more than three times the ratio in 2010, while pension coverage is not yet universal.
The ILO has warned that the rising dependency ratios can contribute to wider disparities in the absence of well-functioning pension systems. This may also lead to increasing pressure on women to take on care activities in the home and withdraw from the labour market, exacerbating gender-based disparities.
The ILO has encouraged countries in the Asia-Pacific region to implement policies that focus on boosting demand to create more jobs, improving access to better quality employment, strengthening labour market institutions, and building robust social protection systems so as to strengthen their labour sector.--The Nation/ ANN
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