"Information society" development in Thailand
First Monday

'Information society' development in Thailand: Information workforce and information and communication technology perspectives by Joy Aswalap


Abstract
Recent developments of information and communication technologies (ICTs) have changed nations and their citizens across the world regardless of their political or socioeconomic systems. To position Thailand — a constitutional monarchy with a predominantly rural agricultural economy — in a technology–driven and interconnected world, a framework is needed. This article explores the concept of "information society," a concept that, while imperfect, is used to describe the complex global impacts of ICTs. This article discusses Thailand’s successes and failures in trying to achieve the status of information society.

Contents

Introduction
The Kingdom of Thailand
Information workforce
Information and communication technologies
National vs. national "virtual" library
Conclusion

 


 

++++++++++

Introduction

Information society has been broadly described as "the social, economic, technological, and cultural changes associated with the rapid development and widespread use of information and communication technologies (ICTs)" (Lievrouw, 2002). Criticism has been directed at this definition as being "vague and imprecise, even of dubious value" (Webster, 2003).

This criticism is based on the grounds that "information" is an imprecise term which conveys different meanings to different people; terms such as data, knowledge, documents, systems, ideas, signs, or symbols can all be referred as information (Lievrouw, 2002). Nevertheless, the citizens of North America, Japan, and Western Europe are said to live in an information society (Webster, 2003) — societies that are dominated by extensive state–of–the–art telecommunications infrastructures, and an increasing number of "information workers" (Lievrouw, 2002).

However, an unspoken understanding, if not defensible definition, exists when speaking of information societies. ICTs are arguably the means by which an acceptable definition may be reached. United Nation secretary–general Kofi Annan stated: "if harnessed properly, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to improve all aspects of our social, economic and cultural life. ICTs can serve as an engine for development in the twenty–first century" (Annan, 2003).

 

++++++++++

The Kingdom of Thailand

Located in the center of South East Asia, the country was known as Siam until 1939 when renamed Thailand, which means "the land of the free." Thailand was an absolute monarchy until 1932 when a bloodless coup turned the country into a constitutional monarchy. The people of Thailand pride themselves in being the only South East Asia country never to have been colonized. The country is one of Asia’s oldest democracies and a key political and economic leader in the region (Sulistiyanto, 2002). Table 1 shows Thailand’s social and economic profiles in 2004.

 

Table 1: Thailand profiles in 2004.
Source: World Factbook, 2003.

Social
 
Area 513,115 sq. km.
  198,115 sq. mi.
   
Population (millions)
64
Urban population (percent of total)
31
   
Population density 127 persons per sq. km.
  328 persons per sq. mi.
   
Capital
Bangkok
   
Main ethnic group
Thai
Official language
Thai
   
Main religion
Buddhism
   
Economy
 
Gross national income (per capita)
US$2,010
   
Currency
Baht
Exchanged to $US1 (est.)
40 Baht
   

 

Between 1976 and 1996 Thailand made impressive economic and technological advancement. Thailand’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — a measure of national wealth — averaged eight percent, among the highest in South East Asian countries (ITU, 2001). The number of people living in poverty was reduced from 32 to 11 percent (World Bank, 1998). Krugman described the boom of Thailand’s economy as follows:

"Thailand was a relative latecomer to the Asian miracle. Traditionally mainly an agricultural exporter, it started to become a major industrial center only in the 1980s, when foreign firms — especially Japanese — began siting plants in the country. But when the economy did take off, it did so very impressively: as peasants moved from the countryside into the new urban jobs, as the good results experienced by the first wave of foreign investors encouraged others to follow. ... Soon the famed temples of Bangkok lay in the shadow of office and apartment towers; like its neighbors, Thailand became a place where millions of ordinary people were beginning to emerge from desperate poverty into at least the beginnings of a decent life, and where some people were becoming very rich." [1].

Nonetheless, Thailand’s economic progress came to an end in July 1997 when the nation’s currency was devalued. The economic crisis of 1997 was a complex phenomenon that triggered a financial catastrophe throughout many Asian countries. The recovery of the country’s economic crisis was questionably a mix of self–correcting business cycle, the assistance from the international community, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the government’s finance sector regulatory reforms. By spring 2000, the worst of the crisis had passed and the country began to turn around (World Bank, 2000).

 

++++++++++

Information workforce

For the past four decades, the empirical analysis of information societies has been the attempt to quantify information–related occupations or industries as dynamic and powerful economic and social forces in an economy. Machlup was the first to define and measure the size of the so–called "information sector" in the United States economy. He defined the term "knowledge worker" as any occupation whose work is to produce and distribute knowledge (Machlup, 1962).

Following Machlup’s work, Porat argued that the production of knowledge had an economic significance comparable to the production of goods, and knowledge workers had become a dynamic and powerful economic and social force in an economy (Porat, 1977). Along with the economists Machlup and Porat, the social scientist Bell was considered the first theorist of the information society. He identified the knowledge industry with the service sector, and argued that the post–industrial society was a service–based economy and was knowledge–driven (Bell, 1999).

In the early 1980s, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 1981) measured the size of the information workforce in several industrialized countries. The OCED classified information occupations based on Porat’s work. In the late 1980s, based on OECD work, Katz measured the size of the information workforce in 20 developing countries between 1960 and 1980. He defined four sectors of occupational structure as (1) information; (2) agriculture; (3) industry; and, (4) service (Katz, 1988).

Regardless of the different approaches used to measure information sector (see Table 2), all authors have consistently shown an increase in information–based occupations. Clearly, the information workforce has become a dynamic and powerful economic and social force in any given economy.

 

Table 2: Definitions in studies of the information workforce.
Source: Adapted from Katz (1988).

 
1960s
1970s
1970s
1980s
1980s
Year(s) studied
1958
1963
1860–1970
1950–1970
1960–1980
Author
Machlup
(1962)
Bell
(1973)
Porat
(1977)
OECD
(1981)
Katz
(1988)
Sector
Definition
Knowledge
Society
Post–Industrial
Society
Information
Sector
Information
Sector
Information
Sector
Country
Studied
United
States
United
States
United
States
Nine OECD
member countries
20 developing
countries

 

Thai information workforce

The Yearbook of Labour Statistics 2001 (60th issue), published by the International Labor Organization (ILO) provides data on the distribution of the populations who supply the labor for the production of goods and services. Table 2C of the Yearbook provides data on the distribution occupation, according to International Standard Classification of Occupations ISCO–68.

The ISCO–68 classification includes nine major groups (one–digit codes), 83 minor groups (two–digit codes), 284 unit groups (three–unit codes), and 1,506 occupational categories (five–digit codes) (ILO, 1969). Table 3 shows the structure of workforce by sector, nine major groups, and occupations. Appendix A shows the classification of these occupations in 83 minor groups.

 

Table 3: Workforce sectors and occupations.
Source: Appendix A.

Sector
Group
Occupation
Information
0–1
Professional, technical and related workers
 
2
Administrative and managerial workers
 
3
Clerical and related workers
Service
4, 5
Sales workers, Service workers
Agriculture
6
Agriculture, forestry workers, fishermen and hunters
Industry
7, 8, 9
Production and related workers, transport equipment operators and laborers

 

Figure 1 presents the development of information workforce in Thailand from 1991 to 2000. A few researchers suggested that developing South East Asian economies are rapidly transforming from basic agriculture structures to information economies (Karunaratne and Jussawalla, 1988). Moreover, information occupations are low in countries described as highly dependant on agriculture and low levels of urbanization (Katz, 1988). From Figure 1, Thailand’s information workforce shows a gradual rise — slightly above a 10 percent line while agriculture occupations has started to decline rapidly since 1990s.

 

Figure 1: Structure of Thai workforce.
Source: Appendix B, Table B.2.

 

Previous information society research sought to measure one set of parameters that would determine the size of the information workforce relative to the other labor sectors. These studies suffer from a lack of agreement in how the information workers and the information industries are defined. Nevertheless, there is considerable evidence that the growth of the information sector indicates economic growth — the larger the information sector, the higher the GNP (Gross National Product) per capita.

In some instance, the size of a nation’s information sector alone is not a measure of economic growth. In a few poverty–stricken developing countries, government employees providing health and welfare services are classified as information workers. At times, government job is deemed as the last resort for the jobless. Therefore, industrial productivity has been sacrificed for public service (Dordick and Wang, 1993).

 

++++++++++

Information and communication technologies

The world information technology market (including computers, software, peripheral equipment, and the customer interface) was estimated at US$514 billion in 1995. The market is highly concentrated in the G7 countries (U.S., Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and the U.K.), which accounts for about 88 percent of the world market share. From 1985 to 1995, the growth of the world IT market in Asia Pacific countries was substantial enough to increase their market share. However, for middle eastern and African countries, as the speed of global development had been so rapid, their IT growth was insufficient to prevent a decline in their share (OECD, 1996).

The size and growth of the telecommunication network underlies ICTs development. Telephone networks provide a base for building data communication networks that in turn provide access to information, information technology, and most recently the Internet.

Access to information and information technology is the necessary first step to ICT use and is a measure of the potential for social, political, and economic growth. However, there are numerous examples of heavy investments in the ICTs with little impact on GNP (Dordick and Wang, 1993).

There are limitations in assessing the human dimension. The size and percentage of information workforce and telecommunication network is easier to measure than the quality of information workforce. The quality, along with size, contribute to a nation’s economic growth, economic health (Dordick and Wang, 1993), and the effective use of ICTs (Mansell and Wehn, 1998).

ICT indicators in Thailand

In 1996, Thailand had the first national information technology policy prepared by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC). The plan "to invest in an equitable information infrastructure: to enhance human ability and enhance life quality" was remarkable for its strong social and economic goals (Thajchayapong, et al., 1997).

the Thai government responded to fast–paced ICT development by establishing the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) (Karnjanatawe, 2002). The ICT Ministry implemented a successful policy that triggered price–cutting competition among local PC manufacturers and international software vendors. Over 200,000 budget PCs were sold. The project was considered highly successful and sparked interests from other governments (Waltham, 2003). A similar project has been initiated in Brazil aiming to sell up to one million computers, with costs partially subsidized by the government (Wade, 2005).

ICT infrastructure and investment

A strong ICT infrastructure is essential for rapid and efficient social and economic development. The size and growth of fixed main telephone lines is fundamental in providing the infrastructure to support Internet access. In a survey of 60 countries worldwide, annual investment in the past decade was found to be more than doubled in both developing and least developed countries (LDCs) (Wellenius, et al., 2000).

In the 1990s, the World Bank expected a 13 to 25 percent return from telecommunication investments and a 15 to 30 percent return to the general economy in developing countries. The investments in ICT infrastructure in terms of telephone lines per 100 persons (teledensity) were strongly related to national income (Saunders, et al., 1994). Nonetheless, growth in ICT investment accompanied, rather than caused, economic growth (Mansell and Wehn, 1998).

The past decades proved that the scope of ICT infrastructure was limited to fixed–line telephones. Today, mobile phones have extraordinarily raised access to communications. The 1997 ITU Report’s "there were more mobile phones in Bangkok than in Africa" was momentary. Africa now has over 20 million mobile users — surpassing Bangkok’s population.

Dramatic growth is occurring in telecommunication infrastructure in all countries. Encouragingly, the fastest growing nations have been the LDCs. In developing countries, and particularly in the LDCs, mobile subscribers exceeded fixed–lines as the network with the most users (ITU, 2002b).

 

Table 4: ICT indicators for Thailand 1991–2000 (T=thousand; M=million).
Source: ITU, 2002a.

 
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
Telephone and cellular subscribers (M)
Main telephone lines
1.553
1.79
2.215
2.751
3.482
4.2
4.827
5.038
5.216
5.791
Cellular mobile
1.24
2.51
4.14
7.47
1.390
2.085
4.827
2.566
3.371
5.516
Teledensity (telephones per 100 persons)
Main telephone lines
2.82
3.21
3.93
4.83
6.06
7.23
8.22
8.49
8.7
9.23
Cellular mobile
0.22
0.45
0.73
1.3
2.26
3.17
3.75
3.33
3.9
5.04
Information technology (T)
Personal computers
300
450
570
680
810
1000
1200
1300
1382
1471
Internet hosts
0
0.005
0.276
1.728
4.055
9.245
14.38
20.53
40.18
63.45
Internet users
0
0.06
5
20
55
135
375
500
1300
2300
Capital expenditure (M Baht)
Telecom investment
12566
8909
16360
41468
33924
47851
61655
26862
30829
34967

 

In the late 1980s, Thailand had one of the poorest telecom services record in Southeast Asia with a waiting list for subscriber lines close to one million and a teledensity of 1.8 (Petrazzini, 1995). The 1980s economic "boom" gave way to the government to implement telecommunications reform as two state–owned telecommunications enterprises (SOTE) failed to respond to rapid service demand. The reform allowed private companies to build networks and transfer the ownership, but operate the service through revenue sharing arrangements with the two SOTEs (Ure, 1995).

By the year 2000 (see Table 4) Thailand had reached a main telephone line teledensity close of 9.23 and the number of cellular subscribers of 5.5 was exceeding main telephone line users of 5.7 (see Figure 2). Figure 2 also shows two events — (1) the telecommunications reform in the early 1990s substantially expanded the size and increased the investment of the networks; and, (2) the 1997 financial crisis caused a slight decline in new cellular subscribers, a slow growth in main telephone lines, and a big drop in the telecommunications investment. Nevertheless, the network growth and the investment have reestablished (ITU, 2002a).

 

Figure 2: Main telephone line and cellular phone subscribers, and telecommunications investment in Thailand.
Source: Table 4 (investments in billion Baht).

 

The Internet

Development of the global Internet has been phenomenal. It has grown from a small, closed, U.S.–based computer network of a few thousand scientific and government users in the early 1980s to worldwide networks of millions household users. Despite the significant growth, there are great disparities between high– and low–income countries in terms of both Internet hosts and users. Lack of competition in international leased line service, as well as inadequate regional infrastructure has added to cost of Internet access. The result is an uneven Internet market where the majority of the users are high income and live in large urban areas (Petrazzini and Kibati, 1999).

Like the global Internet, Thailand’s academic community was the early adopter of the Internet dated 1987. By 1991, there were five universities connected via a UUCP network and some 50 e–mail users. In 1992, the first permanent Internet connection was established in a university via a 9.6 kbps (kilobits per second) line to the U.S. In 1995, the Internet moved out of the academic to commercial domain (Palasri, et al., 1999).

Since the debut of the first commercial Internet service provider in March 1995, the Internet users in Thailand have grown exponentially (see Figure 3). In the year 2000, as shown in Figure 3, Internet users have a wider base reaching 2.3 million — roughly three percent of the population, whereas the numbers of personal computers and Internet hosts are close to 1.5 million and 70,000 respectively.

 

Figure 3: Internet users, hosts, and personal computers.
Source: Table 4.

 

It is estimated that Internet users will reach 6.9 million in 2004 (NECTEC, 2004). Thailand has among the lowest dial–up Internet prices in the South East Asia region. One reason for this low price is the local telephone calls in Thailand are charged at a flat fee, unlike other countries in the region (ITU, 2002a).

A survey of Internet user profile (NECTEC, 2001) revealed that the majority of users are in the Bangkok metropolitan area and almost half of them are under 30 years of age. Internet penetration rises with level of households’ income. Barriers to Internet access include perceived problems in speed, expenses, language, reliability, and content. In sum, Thailand has a digital divide between urban and rural, young and old, and rich and poor.

 

++++++++++

National vs. national "virtual" library

The National Library of Thailand was established in 1905. Among its first collections were donated manuscripts on Buddhist scriptures, historical records, laws, and astrology — written on palm leaves and papers handmade from barks. Later, when contacts in diplomatic, commercial, and educational activities were made with the Western world, especially England and France, printed Western books and printing technologies were gradually introduced to Thai people (Chavalit, 1999).

The Internet connection in 1992 had introduced the concept of "virtual" and the launch of Thailand WWW Virtual Library (see http://www.nectec.or.th/WWW-VL-Thailand.html). Today, the ministry of ICT initiated a project to connect all libraries via a common network to create a national virtual library. Among its collection would be a digitized copy of ancient documents, rare books, and royal original copy as well as material on microfilm, microfiche, cassette and video tape (Boonruang, 2002).

Like the National Library founded in the nineteenth century, the National Virtual Library will inevitably face the problems of having to overcome basic problems in library development in terms of (a) shortage of books in Thai language, and (b) lack of qualified personnel to handle library activities in modern sense of Western library (Chavalit, 1999). Universities offering a degree in Library Science (LS) are redesigning school curriculum to attract more students and to meet the changing profession of librarians (Na–Lamphun and Lee, 2002).

 

++++++++++

Conclusion

From the first national information technology policy in 1996 to the establishment of ICT Ministry in 2002, few studies have been done about Thailand’s "information society." This article has outlined components of Thai information society in terms of information workforce and ICT indicators.

A recent review of library and information science (LIS) education in Thailand (Butdisuwan and Gorman, 2002) suggested an increased demand for information professionals in both public and private sectors from a rapid expansion of LIS education programs in public universities. In spite of this, the growing number of LIS graduates might face unemployment as a result of a lack of information profession planning on a national level.

The recent government policy of zero personnel growth to reduce the overall number of civil workers affected the employment prospects of LIS graduates. The review suggested a workforce survey be conducted to provide benchmark data for universities’ plan for future graduates of information professionals.

Research in measurements and analysis of the information workforce in East Asia countries remain scarce. A search of case studies on information societies in specific East Asia countries yielded only studies done on Singapore. An earlier research by (Jussawalla and Cheah, 1983) measured the size of information sector using an input–output framework, where industries were either classified as totally or partially information intensive. The research indicated that Singapore’s economy had undergone structural changes from an export of manufactured goods to an export of professional services.

A recent research by (Kuo and Low, 2001) used population census to track over seven decades of changes in employment and occupational structure in Singapore. The research suggested that government policies played a crucial role in information occupational restructuring in Singapore. For example, to meet the challenge of the "knowledge–based economy," the government of Singapore initiated fundamental changes in the educational system.

It is urgent to start a study of the information society in Thailand. The research will help explain the country’s social and technological changes. The baseline data on the information workforce will help policy makers plan a course of action that will be responsive to the rapid changing environment, in the world of technology and regional politics. End of article

 

About the author

S. Joy Aswalap is a doctoral candidate at the School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas. She currently works for the Administrative Information Services, Computing and Information Technology Center, University of North Texas.
E–mail: joy [at] unt [dot] edu

 

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Dr. Brian C. O’Connor, Professor in the School of Library and Information Sciences, and Dr. Robert J. Pavur, Professor in the College of Business Administration, University of North Texas for their support and encouragement. I am in great debt to Rebecca Matson for reading and commenting on early drafts of this paper.

 

Note

1. Krugman, 1999, p. 84.

 

References

K. Annan, 2003. "Message from United Nations secretary–general Kofi Annan," at http://www.itu.int/wsis/annan.html, accessed 3 September 2003.

D. Bell, 1999. The coming of post–industrial society: A venture in social forecasting. Special anniversary edition with a new foreword by the author. New York: Basic Books.

D. Bell, 1973. The coming of post–industrial society: A venture in social forecasting. New York: Basic Books.

S. Boonruang, 2002. "Government proposes a national ‘virtual’ library: All libraries to be networked next year," at http://www.bangkokpost.com/, accessed 19 March 2005.

S. Butdisuwan and G.E. Gorman, 2002. "Library and information science education in Thai public universities," Education for Information, volume 20, pp. 169–181.

M. Chavalit, 1999. "Libraries in Thailand: General scenario," Library Times International, volume 16, number 1, pp. 15–16.

H.S. Dordick and G. Wang, 1993. The information society: A retrospective view. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage.

International Labour Organization (ILO), 1969. Yearbook of Labour Statistics. Geneva: International Labour Organization.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 2002a. Bits and bahts: Thailand Internet case study. Geneva: International Telecommunication Union.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 2002b. World telecommunication report 2002: Reinventing telecoms. Geneva: International Telecommunication Union.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 2001. "The Internet in South East Asia," at http://www.itu.int/asean2001/reports/index.html, accessed 8 September 2003.

M. Jussawalla and C.–W. Cheah, 1983. "Towards an information economy: The case of Singapore," Information Economics and Policy, volume 1, issue 2, pp. 161–176.

K. Karnjanatawe, 2002. "ICT Ministry gets Senate nod, will be set up next week," at http://www.bangkokpost.com, accessed 1 October 2002.

N. Karunaratne and M Jussawalla, 1988. "Information economies of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand," In M. Jussawalla, D.M. Lamberton, and N.D. Karunaratne (editors). The cost of thinking: Information economies of ten Pacific countries. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex.

R.L. Katz, 1988. The information society: An international perspective. New York: Praeger.

P.R. Krugman, 1999. "All fall down: Asia’s crash," In: P.R. Krugman. The return of depression economics. New York: Norton.

E.C.Y. Kuo and L. Low, 2001. "Information economy and changing occupational structure in Singapore," The Information Society, volume 17, pp. 281–293.

L.A. Lievrouw, 2002. "Information society," In: J.R. Schement (editor). Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. New York: Macmillian Reference USA, volume 2, pp. 430–437.

F. Machlup, 1962. The production and distribution of knowledge in the United States. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

R. Mansell and U. Wehn, 1998. Knowledge societies: Information technology for sustainable development. New York: Oxford University Press.

R. Na–Lamphun and H.–W. Lee, 2002. "Focusing on information and knowledge management: redesiging the graduate program of library an information science at Chiang Mai University," Information Development, volume 18, number 1, pp. 47–58.

National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), 2004. "Internet users in Thailand," at http://iir.ngi.nectec.or.th/internet/user-growth.html, accessed 19 March 2005.

National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), 2001. Internet user profile of Thailand 2000. Bangkok: National Electronics and Computer Technology Center.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 1996. Global information infrastructures — global information society (GII–GIS): Statement of policy recommendations made by the ICCP committee. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 1981. Information activities, electronics and telecommunications technologies: Impact of employment, growth and trade. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

S. Palasri, S. Huter, and Z. Wenzel, 1999. "The history of the Internet in Thailand," at http://www.nsrc.org/case-studies/thailand/english/index.html, accessed 19 March 2005.

B.A. Petrazzini, (1995). The political economy of telecommunication reform in developing countries: Privatization and liberalization in comparative perspective. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.

B.A. Petrazzini and M. Kibati, 1999. "The Internet in developing countries," Communications of the ACM, volume 42, number 6, pp. 31–36.

M.U. Porat, 1977. The information economy: Definition and measurement. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Telecommunications.

R.J. Saunders, J.J. Warford, and B. Wellenius, 1994. Telecommunications and economic development. Second edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

P. Sulistiyanto, 2002. Thailand, Indonesia and Burma in comparative perspective. Aldershot, Hampshire, Eng.: Ashgate.

P. Thajchayapong, H. Reinermann, S.E. Goodman, and G.R. Pipe, 1997. "Social equity and prosperity: Thailand information technology policy into the 21st century," The Information Society, volume 13, pp. 265–286.

J. Ure (editor), 1995. Telecommunications in Asia: Policy, planning and development. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

T. Wade, 2005. "MIT backs open source in Brazil computers for poor," at http://www.reuters.com/, accessed 18 March 2005.

T. Waltham, 2003. "Connecting the people: Information technology," Bangkok Post Year End Economic Review 2003.

F. Webster, 2003. "Information society," In: J. Feather and R.P. Sturges (editors) International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science. Second edition. New York: Routledge, volume 2, pp. 1338–1357.

B. Wellenius, C.A.P. Braga, and C.Z.–W. Qiang, 2000. "Investment and growth of the information infrastructure: Summary results of a global survey," Telecommunications Policy, volume 24, pp. 639–643.

World Bank 2000. East Asia: Recovery and beyond. Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

World Bank 1998. East Asia: The road to recovery. Washington D.C.: World Bank.

World Factbook, 2003. "The world factbook," at http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/, accessed 7 September 2003.

 

Appendix A: International Standard Classification of Occupations
(ISCO–1968).

 

International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO–1968)
Major Group 0/1 Professional, technical and related workers
0–1 Physical scientists and related technicians
0–2/3 Architects, engineers, and related technicians
0–4 Aircraft and ships’ officers
0–5 Life scientists and related technicians
0–6/7 Medical, dental, veterinary, and related workers
0–8 Statisticians, mathematicians, systems analysts, and related technicians
0–9 Economists
1–1 Accountants
1–2 Jurists
1–3 Teachers
1–4 Workers in religion
1–5 Authors, journalists, and related writers
1–6 Sculptors, painters, photographers, and related creative artists
1–7 Composers and performing artists
1–8 Athletes, sportsmen and related workers
1–9 Professional, technical and related workers not elsewhere classified
 
Major Group 2 Administrative and managerial workers
2–0 Legislative officials and government administrators
2–1 Managers
 
Major Group 3 Clerical and related workers
3–0 Clerical supervisors
3–1 Government executive officials
3–2 Stenographers, typists, and card– and tape–punching machine operators
3–3 Bookkeepers, cashiers, and related workers
3–4 Computing machine operators
3–5 Transport and communications supervisors
3–6 Transport conductors
3–7 Mail distribution clerks
3–8 Telephone and telegraph operators
3–9 Clerical related workers not elsewhere classified
 
Major Group 4 Sales workers
4–0 Managers (wholesale and retail trade)
4–1 Working proprietors (wholesale and retail trade)
4–2 Sales supervisors and buyers
4–3 Technical salesmen, commercial travelers, and manufacturers’ agents
4–4 Insurance, real estate, securities and business services salesmen, and auctioneers
4–5 Salesmen, shop assistants and related workers
4–9 Sales workers not elsewhere classified
 
Major Group 5 Service workers
5–0 Managers (catering and lodging services)
5–1 Working proprietors (catering and lodging services)
5–2 Housekeeping and related service supervisors
5–3 Cooks, waiters, bartenders, and related workers
5–4 Maids and related housekeeping service workers not elsewhere classified
5–5 Building caretakers, char workers, cleaners, and related workers
5–6 Launderers, dry–cleaners, and pressers
5–7 Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, and related workers
5–8 Protective service workers
5–9 Service workers not elsewhere classified
 
Major Group 6 Agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry workers, fishermen, and hunters
6–0 Farm managers and supervisors
6–1 Farmers
6–2 Agriculture and animal husbandry workers
6–3 Forestry workers
6–4 Fishermen, hunters, and related workers
 
Major Group 7/8/9 Production and related workers, transport equipment operators, and laborers
7–0 Production supervisors and general foremen
7–1 Miners, quarrymen, well drillers, and related workers
7–2 Metal processors
7–3 Wood preparation workers and paper makers
7–4 Chemical processors and related workers
7–5 Spinners, weavers, knitters, dyers, and related workers
7–6 Tanners, fell mongers and pelt dressers
7–7 Food and beverage processors
7–8 Tobacco preparers and tobacco product makers
7–9 Tailors, dressmakers, sewers, upholsterers, and related workers
8–0 Shoemakers and leather goods makers
8–1 Cabinetmakers and related woodworkers
8–2 Stone cutters and carvers
8–3 Blacksmiths, toolmakers and machine–tool operators
8–4 Machinery fitters, machine assemblers, and precision instrument makers (except electrical)
8–5 Electrical fitters and related electrical and electronics workers
8–6 Broadcasting station and sound equipment operators and cinema projectionists
8–7 Plumbers, welders, sheet metal and structural metal preparers, and erectors
8–8 Jewelers and precious metal workers
8–9 Glass formers, potters and related workers
9–0 Rubber and plastics product makers
9–1 Paper and paperboard products makers
9–2 Printers and related workers
9–3 Painters
9–4 Production and related workers not elsewhere classified
9–5 Bricklayers, carpenters and other construction workers
9–6 Stationary engine and related equipment operators
9–7 Material–handling and related equipment operators, dockers, and freight handlers
9–8 Transport equipment operators
9–9 Laborers not elsewhere classified
 
Major Group X Workers not classifiable by occupation
X–1 New workers seeking employment
X–2 Workers reporting occupations unidentifiable or inadequately described
X–3 Workers not reporting any occupation

Source: International Standard Classification of Occupations (ILO, 1969).

 

 

Appendix B: Measurement of occupational structure
Table B.1: Employment in Thailand by ISCO–68 classification

 

ISCO–68
 
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1991
2000
  Total (thousands) 31136.5 32383 32150.2 32093.2 32573.1 32231.6 33162.3 32138 32087.1 33001
0,1 Professional, technical and related workers 1080.8 1235.7 1313.8 1482.1 1595.5 1530 1725.4 1816.8 2015.1 2113.4
2 Administrative and managerial workers 553.8 662.3 679.9 658.1 716.5 779.4 802.7 816 914.4 921
3 Clerical and related workers 986.2 985.6 1157.5 1172.5 1264.6 1220.1 1270.5 1273.8 1213.3 1145.6
4 Sales workers 3062.8 2946.1 3233.3 3218 3647.4 3763.6 3924.8 4025.6 4284.1 4274.2
5 Service workers 1215.3 1242.3 1354.9 1323.5 1367.2 1429 1532.9 1495.9 1565.4 1680.8
6 Agriculture, forestry workers, fishermen, & hunters 18808.1 19700.2 18294.6 18002.4 17021.2 16170.9 16764.6 16492.7 15620.1 16177.5
7,8,9 Production, transport equips. operators, & laborers 5420.3 5589.1 6103.1 6230.3 6960.7 7329.2 7109.7 6211.4 6464.5 6681.2
x Unclassified 10.5 21.5 13.6 7.8 1.5 9.8 4.3 5.5 9.9 5.8
 
  Information 2620.8 2883.6 3151.2 3312.7 3576.6 3529.5 3798.6 3906.6 4142.8 4180
0,1 Professional, technical and related workers 1080.8 1235.7 1313.8 1482.1 1595.5 1530 1725.4 1816.8 2015.1 2113.4
2 Administrative and managerial workers 553.8 662.3 679.9 658.1 716.5 779.4 802.7 816 914.4 921
3 Clerical and related workers 986.2 985.6 1157.5 1172.5 1264.6 1220.1 1270.5 1273.8 1213.3 1145.6
 
  Agriculture  
6 Agriculture, forestry workers, fishermen, & hunters 18808.1 19700.2 18294.6 18002.4 17021.2 16170.9 16764.6 16492.7 15620.1 16177.5
 
  Industry  
7,8,9 Production, transport equips. operators, & laborers 5420.3 5589.1 6103.1 6230.3 6960.7 7329.2 7109.7 6211.4 6464.5 6681.2
 
  Service 4278.1 4188.4 4588.2 4541.5 5014.6 5192.6 5457.7 5521.5 5849.5 5955
4 Sales workers 3062.8 2946.1 3233.3 3218 3647.4 3763.6 3924.8 4025.6 4284.1 4274.2
5 Service workers 1215.3 1242.3 1354.9 1323.5 1367.2 1429 1532.9 1495.9 1565.4 1680.8

Source: Compiled from the ILO (ILO, 2002) devised by the OECD (OECD, 1981) citing Appendix A (Katz, 1988).

 

 

Table B.2: Four–sector total of the Thai workforce structure

 

 
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1991
2000
Information 2620.8 2883.6 3151.2 3312.7 3576.6 3529.5 3798.6 3906.6 4142.8 4180
Agriculture 18808.1 19700.2 18294.6 18002.4 17021.2 16170.9 16764.6 16492.7 15620.1 16177.5
Industry 5420.3 5589.1 6103.1 6230.3 6960.7 7329.2 7109.7 6211.4 6464.5 6681.2
Service 4278.1 4188.4 4588.2 4541.5 5014.6 5192.6 5457.7 5521.5 5849.5 5955
 
Total (thousands) 31127.3 32361.3 32137.1 32086.9 32573.1 32222.2 33130.6 32132.2 32076.9 32993.7
 
Information (percent) 8 9 10 10 11 11 11 12 13 13
Agriculture (percent) 60 61 57 56 52 50 51 51 49 49
Industry (percent) 17 17 19 19 21 23 21 19 20 20
Service (percent) 14 13 14 14 15 16 16 17 18 18

Source: Table B.1.
ILO, 1969. Yearbook of Labour Statistics. Geneva: International Labour Organization.
ILO, 2002. Yearbook of Labour Statistics 2001. Geneva: International Labour Organization.
R.L. Katz, 1988. The information society: An international perspective. New York: Praeger.
OECD, 1981. Information activities, electronics and telecommunications technologies: Impact of employment, growth and trade. Paris: OECD.

 


Editorial history

Paper received 25 August 2005; accepted 15 September 2005.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

"Information society" development in Thailand: Information workforce and information and communication technology perspectives by Joy Aswalap
First Monday, Volume 10, Number 10 - 3 October 2005
http://www.firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/1285/1205





A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

© First Monday, 1995-2014.