Sri Lanka labour force growth to lag region

Dec 26, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s labour force has grown an average 1.0 percent from 1990 to 2008, and is projected to grow by only 0.3 percent a year till 2020 trailing other Asian nations, with low female participation, a government report has said. “This is driven by expected declines in the adult male participation rate and in the participation rates of young women and men,” the report Labour and Social Trends in Sri Lanka said.

The labour force participation rate is the share of population from 15 to 65 years of age who are employed or seeking work.

The report was compiled by Sri Lanka’s labour ministry, the statistics office and the central bank with support from the International Labour Organization.

Gender Gap

“Sri Lanka has one of the highest gender-based gaps in labour force participation in the Asian region, with a female participation rate of only 37.8 percent versus 76.1 percent among men,” the report said.

“Among all Asian countries for which data are available, only Afghanistan, Pakisthan and India have larger gaps in participation rates between women and men.

“Low female participation rates combined with large gender based gaps in segregation typically reflect barriers that women face