Number of workers leaving to find work reaches 5 million

13 February 2019
Number of workers leaving to find work reaches 5 million
Migrant workers queue in a registration line during a migrant laborer registration drive at a government One Stop Service Center for labor and immigration in Samut Sakhon province, Thailand, 19 March 2018. Photo: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

The low employment rate and low salaries in the domestic market have forced young workers in Myanmar to seek jobs overseas, with the number of migrant labourers touching 5 million, state media reported quoting an official from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population (MOLIP).

A majority of the labourers are working in Thailand, he added. “Young people are struggling to find jobs in the domestic market. Fewer job opportunities and low pay are making them leave their home country for higher-paying jobs overseas. There is economic disadvantage from loss of young workers,” said U Myo Aung, the permanent secretary of MOLIP.

Currently, about 3 million young people of working age are working in Thailand, but most of them are low-paid manual labourers, he said. Additionally, some workers have gone to Malaysia, Singapore, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and other Asian and European Union countries. Myanmar’s migrant labour force now totals about 5 million, he said. The daily minimum wage in Thailand is 310 baht (equivalent to Ks15,000), while the minimum wage in Myanmar is just Ks4,800, according to the MOLIP.