Drop in birth rates opens doors for migrant workers

THAILAND: As more and more Thais opt to have fewer children, or none at all, experts fear that the country's workforce is falling along with the plummeting birth rate.

Government data shows that the number of Thai newborns fell below 600,000 for the first time in 2020, and further slid in 2021. Following this trend, the number of elderly in the country is set to be more than double the working population by 2040.

While Thailand is trying to find ways to boost its declining birth rate, it has been filling the gap in its workforce by hiring migrant workers, mostly from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. To date, Thailand already has around three million legal migrant workers. The Federation of Thai Industries estimates that the country needs 800,000 more.

With the easing of pandemic restrictions, migrant workers in Thailand are slowly coming back and are increasing in number.

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