Japan firms in Thailand to raise wages by average 4.4% this year

BANGKOK, NNA - Japanese companies operating in Thailand are considering raising wages by an average 4.4 percent this year, according to an annual survey by NNA.

Of 403 Japanese firms surveyed, 305 firms or 75.7 percent plan to implement wage hikes for workers and those in managerial positions.

The average salary increase rate is likely to drop 0.1 percentage point from the previous year, but its medial figure is expected to rise from 4.5 percent to 4.8 percent, the poll shows.

Many of the companies will carry out wage hikes in January or April.

By sector, services will post the highest rate of 5.2 percent, followed by trading houses at 5.1 percent, manufacturers at 4 percent levels, steels and metals at 3.7 percent and textiles at 3.5 percent.

Japanese companies in Thailand, the largest manufacturing base for them in Southeast Asia, increase wages by taking into account such factors as workers' performance, work attitudes and inflation rates.

Of all the firms polled, 209 or 51.9 percent responded that current wage levels are acceptable, while 131 or 32.5 percent answered that levels even up to 20 percent higher than the current ones are acceptable.

As labor costs are on the rise in Thailand, the region's second-largest economy, many Japanese companies are contemplating cutting costs by enhancing job efficiency and reducing the number of Japanese workers, the NNA survey shows. (NNA/Kyodo)