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UNFPA: Thailand’s demand for labor “still high”

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According to the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Thailand, due to its remarkable success in its policy to reduce birth rate, is facing high demand for labor.

Until the middle of the 20th century, most people did not live beyond the age of 50, but today the average Thai can expect to reach the age of 73, the UNFPA’s Thailand Office that has been working with the Thai government since 1972, says in today’s Bangkok Post supplement.

“For the first time in the history of the country, the population of older persons will exceed the population of young persons by the year 2020,” it reports, “and this signifies that the size of the working group might fall sharply within 30 years which means that fewer working people will need to pay for more elderly people who may live to be 80 or 90 years old.”

One of its propositions is to raise the country’s pensionable age to be able to pay for this population structure.

Another, as pointed out by Nitwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, Minister of Prime Minister’s Office, is to adopt a flexible policy with regards to its labor market. “Moreover, after the Asean Economic Community (AEC) starts in 2015, it is predicted that Thai society will soon have to deal with an increased diversity of ethnic, cultural, educational, social, and health-related backgrounds along with the changing population structure due to the ageing population and shrinking work force.”

The average number of children for each woman in Thailand has come down from 6.6 to 2, according to the UNFPA report.

Meanwhile, the kingdom’s labor ministry has announced that an estimated 1 million migrant workers who have yet to complete their nationality verification process face deportation after 14 December. So far, only less than 890,000 have completed the process.

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