Easing impact of wage hike needs greater cooperation
Greater collaboration is needed between the government and businesses to address the impacts from the new minimum wage, according to TMB Bank research.
TMB Analytics estimated that the blanket increase to Bt300 per day in 70 provinces that took effect on January 1 was hurting business operators in the Northeast and the North more than those in other regions. Their operating costs are rising by nearly 3 per cent, against 2 per cent in other regions.
Phayao, Uttaradit, Kamphaeng Phet and Nan are the most affected in the North, while in the Northeast they are Nakhon Phanom, Buri Ram, Mukdahan and Ubon Ratchathani. The Bt300 minimum had already been in effect in seven key provinces since April, and was expanded nationwide at the beginning of this year.
"The wage increase should proceed accordingly with a review on business operators' productivity ... The government also needs short-term relief measures to ensure fast adaptation," it said.
Business operators are urged to focus more on product quality and reduce the costs of energy, raw materials and logistics.
The government, meanwhile, should expand their access to job training and analysis on market competition. In particular, short-term relief measures should mainly concern the costs of energy and raw materials.
Meanwhile, workers themselves need to learn new skills to match the higher pay, TMB Analytics said.
"The state of the economy will be a crucial factor. Once the economy prospers, consumers and investors will spend. This will lessen the impact. Once we can achieve a balance, the Bt300 wage should not pose too heavy a burden," it noted.