Govt Announces 5% Increase for Minimum Wage, Effective October

The government has decided to raise the local minimum wage by 5% from October 1 to help Thailand’s residents cope with growing inflation as it approaches a 14-year high.

On Friday, Labor Ministry Permanent Secretary Boonchob Suthamanaswong said the increase would help workers deal with the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic impact.

The current minimum wages, frozen for two years, vary by province. Chon Buri, where workers earn 336 baht daily, has the highest rate. The lowest fare is 313 baht for the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat.

However, the new rates will rise to 328-354 baht per day after the national wage committee — which represents employers, unions, and the government — unanimously agreed that the daily wage should increase by 5.02%.

Workers in the capital, Bangkok, and surrounding provinces will see the highest increase, earning 22 baht more daily from October.

The smallest increase will apply in Udon Thani and Nan provinces, where people will be paid an extra 8 baht daily.

Chon Buri, Phuket, and Rayong provinces will have the highest rate, as the minimum wage has risen to 354 baht daily there.

Mr. Boonchob, who also chairs the national wage committee, said members met for more than five hours to discuss a new wage increase before deciding on the final salary range.

The new tariffs are set to take effect from October 1, as the proposal must be approved by the cabinet the following week.

Earlier this month, the Labor Ministry said it planned to raise the minimum wage for the first time in two years by 5-8% to combat the pandemic’s economic effects. In 2020, the rate increased by 1.6-1.8%.

Back then, Labor Minister Suchart Chomklin stated that officials expected the wage increase to start this year’s fourth quarter and not in early 2023 as planned.

“I want this to happen as soon as possible because people have a lot of trouble with living costs and we haven’t adjusted the wage for a long time,” he said.