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The Phuket beach bug boy will grow up and have to work soon

Phuket Jobless Rises But Key Skills Needed

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Final Update

UNEMPLOYMENT on Phuket is up this high season as the global economic crunch bites home on the holiday island.

In November last year, not a single person went to the Phuket Provincial Employment Office seeking work. The resorts and guesthouses needed every spare staffer.

This year in November so far, 315 people have come to the Employment Office.

Phuket's unemployment rate stands at 2.54 percent or 4198 people, low by international standards but a dramatic increase on the usual percentage, nil.

The message to people in neighboring provinces is: do not come looking for work on Phuket unless you have the quality skills that resorts always need, even in times of rising unemployment.

Nataya Anudit, the Chief of Phuket Provincial Employment Office, gave her final interview today to Phuketwan.

Tomorrow she meets the Governor in Phang Nga and goes to work in Phuket's neighboring province.

Farang work permits issued by the office total 7846, although Khun Nataya said some of those permits may be inactive.

By nation, the breakdown is: Britons 1121, Germans 486, French 465, Americans 418, Koreans 412, Filipinos 411, Burmese (with passports) 376, Australians 366, Japanese 351, Italians 347, Indians 335, Swedes 330, Nepalese 220, Chinese 205, Swiss 185, Dutch 163, Canadians 149, Belgians 117, Russians 113, Danes 97, Malaysians 89, Finns 79, Pakistanis 76, New Zealanders 75, Singaporeans 72, Taiwanese 72, Norwegians 54, South Africans 51, Bangladeshies 49, Indonesians 46, Irish 39, Australians 32, Spaniards 27, Mauritians 25, North Koreans 20, Brritish Virgin Islanders 15, Vietnamese 14, Hungarians 12, Israelis 11, Egypt 10 and Turkey 10.

Of the farang work permits, 996 are issued to people working in resorts, another 954 cover restaurants and kitchens, with 905 connected to tour agents and 739 in ancillary services, such as legal offices, marine companies, etc.

In the tailoring and clothing industry, 718 permits have been issued. In an area classified as investment support, issued work permits total 356, with 52 of those French, 47 Japanese, Indonesian 27, Australians 26, Malays 21.

No distinct figure was available for the property industry.

On Phuket, her office records 293,121 Thai people legally registered on the island at the end of September. At the end of July, 320,964 people were registered.

The Employment Office figures also show that of the island's 570,034 rai, farming continues to occupy 156,468 rai. A total of 5396 people (3.35 percent) are employed in farming on Phuket.

The vast proportion, 155,522 (96.65 percent), work in other disciplines, mostly resorts and tourism-related businesses.

A total of 29,107 permits have been issued to Burmese, with 95 more going to Cambodians and Laotians. These are mostly in the construction business, with a few in resorts and restaurants, or working as maids and nannies.

As of this week, five vacancies were still available for spa attendants in resort.

Khun Nataya said that it was often the case that unemployed people were in one category while resorts still needed staff in other categories.

Compared to other provinces, she said, Phuket does not have a serious unemployment problem.

Economists, though, have forecast that a million jobs will be lost among Thailand's workforce of 20 million as the economic slowdown hits the manufacturing industry.

Khun Nataya, just back from Bangkok where she met with senior officials in the department, is much more positive. She believes the one million figure is a vast exaggeration.

The Employment Office is forecasting that 100 companies will have to lay off staff, and that about 30,000 jobs will go.

In the tourism industry, some resorts are taking a cautious approach while other brands believe the time is right to continue to expand.

The office records about 140 Thais applying to work overseas, with 38 returning. Most departing Thais have gone to work in the Middle East and Europe.

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with the current economy crisis throughout the world why government officials are not forcing foreigner who receive work permit to received it tougher and recruit thai worker more for the same job where currently there are many thais with the qualification but no chance against foreigner. this problem in thailand of seeing foreigner better in working than thai is growing fast and scary. if this keeps going on sooner or later especially thais graduates will have to keep studying to reach higher education degree than foreigner to have a glimps of the offer but on the other hand foreigner is not required a very high education for the same job. another out rage thing is the salary for foreigner are so high but for thai holding same position is so low? most of the high end resort in Phuket is owned by foreigner and run by foreigner. is this still illegal? last i check every company with foreign partner must not hold more than 49 percent in it. this is something the government should have a look in

Posted by Anonymous on December 19, 2008 22:03

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with the current economy crisis throughout the world why government officials are not forcing foreigner who receive work permit to received it tougher and recruit thai worker more for the same job where currently there are many thais with the qualification but no chance against foreigner. this problem in thailand of seeing foreigner better in working than thai is growing fast and scary. if this keeps going on sooner or later especially thais graduates will have to keep studying to reach higher education degree than foreigner to have a glimps of the offer but on the other hand foreigner is not required a very high education for the same job. another out rage thing is the salary for foreigner are so high but for thai holding same position is so low? most of the high end resort in Phuket is owned by foreigner and run by foreigner...cut...

The reason is very very simple: to do the same job as 1 foreign...thai need 4/5 people (and still not sure about good result)......I have a restaurant. My restaurant manager (foreign) can handle 5 table plus control the full sala (14 table) also he speak english, italian, french and russian (for the other 9 table I have 4 thais: they speak only few english words and every night they make some mistakes). I try (before the actual manager)to find a thai manager: if you are very lucky you can find one (graduate) that speak good english (and only english) but refuse to do any manual work like take to the table a dish or even a glass......

Posted by george on December 20, 2008 10:27

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@Anonymous
My goodness, so many things wrong to address. Hard to know where to being, so we offer only the following two:
1. Why do foreigners generally get paid more? Because (in general, not universally, of course) Thais do not compare in skills, abstract thinking, diligence, and responsibility. Ask any employer how often their Thai staff fail to show up for work without even a phone call. Or how often a Thai staffmember will simply avoid a problem rather than fix it?
Of course, there are many stupid, lazy, lying foreigners (too many). And there are many excellent, clear-thinking, diligent Thais, but they are very difficult to find, especially here in Phuket.
2. Fairness? Oh, yeah, Thailand is really unfair to the Thais in favor of the foreigners. Like the restrictions on foreigner land ownership; the ever-increasing requirements for visas of ever-decreasing length; the mind-numbing administrative requirements for foreign businesses; the differential pricing that is so common it barely warrants mention.
Yep, the foreigners sure get an easy ride here.

Posted by D on December 20, 2008 10:49

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...another out rage thing is the salary for foreigner are so high but for thai holding same position is so low?

Yes, outrage, I agree.
I think, therefore, you should lobby your government to eliminate the minimum wage requirements for foreign nationals. I've never heard of a place where foreigners are required - BY LAW - to be paid at minimum levels higher than its citizens.
A Canadian, for example must be paid 60,000 baht minimum, regardless of the job (except maybe teaching?). And what's the Thai minimum wage? Something like 120 baht a day, or less than 4000 baht/month. Yep, unfair.

Posted by LW on December 20, 2008 15:32

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As one 'overpaid' foreigner who has worked here and helped shape the hotel business for nearly 20 years let me tell you this: Individual owners form the majority of hotel owners in Thailand. If these owners, who are always looking to save a satang here and there, felt that foreigners were useless, overpaid and not knowledgeable do you suppose they would still continue to employ them? Overpaid foreign workers are gladly assisted by locals in reducing their bank balances by cheating, overcharging, even the government is party to this by charging foreigners 10 to 20 times more for entry to national parks which would be illegal in the West as it is based on colour!

In my country legal and illegal Thai workers do their business and there is no major fuss about it, and if there were it would immediately be called discrimination.

Posted by Foreigner on January 6, 2009 14:01

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Och D and LW well said. I concur with yur comments. If Thai requirements were anything to go by, they don't want foreigners here at all, only their money. We are seen as walking and er hem ATM machines. Och that's about to change hey ?

Posted by Macmousie on January 6, 2009 18:39


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