Thailand has enacted a national minimum wage that mandates a daily rate of nearly $10. Although workers across the country welcomed the boost in income, some businesses have been laying off employees, complaining that they cannot afford to pay them. A policy to raise Thailand’s national minimum wage was a key platform of the governing Pheu Thai Party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in the lead up to general elections in 2011. Since it took effect January 1, Thailand’s Labor Ministry says up to 2,500 people have been laid off. Chiwat Withit-Thammawong, chairman of Tak Provinces’ Federation of Thai Industries in northwest Thailand, near the border with Burma, says the pay hikes have resulted in some factory closures. Chiwat says provincial industries had to absorb an initial increase from $5.40 a day to $7.44, last year, and now to the higher rate of $9.87.