The number of Thai labourers working abroad has declined sharply from 202,416 in 1999 to 130,511 in 2013, according to a recent finding of the Kasikorn Research Centre Company Limited.

The company also indicated that in the first quarter of this year, the number continued to decrease in all sectors and is estimated to fall below the 130,000 mark this year.

The demand for unskilled workers is declining while the demand for skilled ones is rising, it said.

The company said attention should be given to both local and foreign labour flows after the start of the ASEAN Economic Community next year, suggesting the change might spark interest among local labourers to seek jobs in neighboring countries.

According to KResearch, Thailand ranks 24th in the world and 10 th in ASEAN in terms of income from guest workers, indicating that last year, the nation earned more than 88 billion THB from the sector.-VNA