Skills Shortage in Thailand: Poor Digital and Literacy Skills Could Cost Thai Economy 3.3 Trillion Baht Annually


On June 3rd, 2024, Mr. Danucha Pichayanan, the Secretary-General of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), announced employment statistics for the first quarter of 2024. The data revealed that the total number of employed individuals stood at 39.6 million, reflecting a slight decrease of 0.1% compared to last year.

According to Mr. Danucha, agricultural employment experienced a significant drop of 5.7% during the off-season. In contrast, other industries saw continuous employment growth. Notably, the hotel and restaurant industry reported a 10.6% increase, while the construction industry saw a 5% rise in employment.

Private companies responded to the Thai government’s policy to increase the minimum wage, effective January 1st, 2024, by raising employees’ salaries by an average of 0.5%, bringing the average monthly salary to 13,789 baht. However, the overall average salary decreased by 0.4% to 15,052 baht per month. Despite this nominal decrease, real wages improved due to a reduction in inflation.

The unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2024 showed improvement, with the number of unemployed individuals decreasing by 3.2% to over 410,000. This decline was mainly due to fewer unemployed Bachelor graduates with work experience. However, the highest increase in unemployment was observed among new graduates aged 20-24, who also represented the largest proportion of unemployed individuals.

Mr. Danucha expressed concerns over Thailand’s shortage of skilled workers, which could have long-term implications for the national economy. An Adult Skills Assessment in Thailand (ASAT) survey revealed that over 64.7% of individuals have below-average literacy skills, and more than 74.1% possess below-average digital skills.

This indicates that a significant portion of Thai adults of working age struggle with basic reading and computer usage.

Additionally, a Social Media Statistics data survey titled “We are Social” ranked Thailand 39th out of 63 countries in digital skills. Mr. Danucha highlighted that inefficient digital skills could potentially lead to economic losses of up to 3.3 trillion baht per year for Thailand.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.