Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thailand: Aging Population Leading to More Workers over 60

Thailand’s population is aging faster than any other in Southeast Asia except Singapore, according to a new study by the International Labour Organization (ILO), and this will affect the country’s productivity and socio-economic development. In "Decent work for older persons in Thailand," Rika Fujioka, of the ILO’s Regional Economic and Social Analysis Unit in Bangkok, and Sopon Thangphet, Policy and Plan Analyst with the Northern Regional Economic, found that more people over the age of 60 are now continuing to work, although often in unfavorable working conditions with insecure incomes and limited social protection. The data also suggest that the daily or hourly wages that older people receive are much lower than those of other employed people, and that the majority of older people consider their incomes to be insufficient.

Among the report's recommendations:
  • Promoting employment opportunities for older persons is both timely and indispensable for enhancing Thailand’s productivity and socio-economic development.
  • Expanding the sectors where older people can find work. Many currently work in agriculture but other potential sectors include commerce, manufacturing, transport, storage, communications and, in rural areas, community-based cottage industries.
  • Increasing the income-generating potential of older people is essential, to mitigate the large gap between the over 60’s and younger workers.
Source: International Labour Organisation News Release (April 13, 2009)

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