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Money Matters

Minimum Wages
Even within the same job category there are obvious  differences in wages between cities and rural areas.
Big companies in Bangkok pay the highest, small companies in the provinces pay the lowest wages.
Since the redefinition in April 1996 the nationally minimum wage per day is 165 Baht (ca. 4Euro).
For the Bangkok area the average monthly income is determined with the following:
Untrained worker/ Sales person 3.750 Baht (ca.90 Euro);
Hotel management worker 5.000 Baht (ca.120 Euro);
Industrial worker 5.500 Baht (ca.140 Euro);
Bank clerk 8.500 Baht (ca.210 Euro).
The minimum wage is currently 203 Baht (about 6 US dollars) per day in Bangkok and much less in the provinces.
For example: Chonburi 180 Baht, Krabi 165 Baht and Surat Thani 155 Baht.

Minimum wage laborers
Salaries in the Hospitality Industry

Salaries for hotel staff consist of three parts:
-- the basic monthly salary
-- the service charge paid according to hotel income
-- bonuses for the year to be paid at certain festivals

Typical monthly salaries are:
receptionist, room maid, waiter -- 5000 Baht
supervisor -- 9000 Baht
office clerk -- 6000 Baht

The service charge can vary between 0 Baht (family business) and 5000 Baht (international hotel).

A bonus can be just 1000 Baht up to 2 monthly salaries.

International hotels pay
relatively high wages
Most hotel employees do not earn enough to pay all the necessary monthly payments (some typical values): 
-- room rent (3000 Baht),
-- electricity (500 Baht),
-- phone bills (300 Baht),
-- food,
-- clothing,
-- motorcycle installments (2000 Baht),
-- insurance (1000 Baht),
-- school fees for children. 

Therefore you may see your room maid work as a waiter in a restaurant in the evenings. Many employees who can not live in the house of the parents share a small apartment with one, two or even three friends.
If the hotel has a van to pick up the staff in the morning they may give up the motorcycle (bicycles are no option as they carry the stigma of poverty).

Many people living in rural areas especially in the populous northeast were forced to move to large cities to look for jobs due to the changing economic situation. Prices on the world market for agricultural products dropped.  Workers lost their jobs in the face of a reduction in export receipts and increased mechanization. This rural exodus created a new problem in Thailand in recent years – unemployment.

but not unemployed
Currently the unemployment rate lies between 1.5% and 2.5%. There is still a high demand for employees in the industrial and hospitality sector, but many job seekers lack the necessary qualifications and skills. The same applies for graduates whose rate of unemployment is increasing.

Many students choose their studies in the hope of gaining high status positions in the government sector. Favorite fields of studies are philosophy, physiology and law, while industry is crying out for engineers. However, the situation is slowly improving.
Did you ever wonder what money is? Maybe you are interested to read an enlightening history of money. It was written by Chris Weber, a highly respected financial adviser. 
This 22 page pdf-file is free of charge and good reading IMHO. Click here, please.

Here are the links suggested by Chris Weber for further reading:
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