Sri Lanka records 4-pct unemployment rate in 4Q 2017

The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) Sri Lanka has released the results of the Sri Lanka labour force survey for the fourth quarter of 2017 (October, November, December).

Labour Force Survey (LFS) is designed to measure the levels and trends of employment, unemployment and labour force in Sri Lanka. This survey has been conducted quarterly, since the first quarter of 1990. 2017 fourth quarter LFS survey is the 105th round of the quarterly survey series, which is based on a sample of 6,440 housing units covering the whole country.

The working-age of a person in Sri Lanka is defined as the age 15 years and above. The estimated working-age household population for the 4th quarter of 2017 is about 15.9 million.

The total working age population who are employed or unemployed during the reference week is identified as the economically active population or the labour force of the country. The estimated economically active population is about 8.6 million in the 4th quarter of 2017, of which 63.6 percent are males and 36.4 percent are females.

Labour force population expressed as a percentage of the working-age population (age 15 years and above) is the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR). The survey results reveal that the overall LFPR for the fourth quarter of 2017 is 54.1 percent and this is recorded as 74.9 percent and 36.4 percent for males and females respectively.

Persons, who worked at least one hour during the reference period (week prior to survey date), as paid employees, employers, own account workers or contributing family workers are said to be employed. The estimated employed population for the 4th quarter of 2017 is about 8.3 million, of which 44.7 percent are engaged in the Services sector, 28.3 percent in the Industry sector and 27.0 percent are in the Agriculture sector. The highest employment share is reported for the Service sector and a similar pattern is observed by gender. In this quarter, the lowest employment share is reported for the Agriculture sector. The survey also reveals that 67.9 percent of the employed population work more than 40 hours per week.

Unemployed persons are defined as persons who were not working and if they were looking for work, have taken actions to find a job and ready to accept a job given an opportunity during the next two weeks. The proportion of unemployed population to the total labour force is defined as the unemployment rate. The estimated unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of 2017 is 4.0 percent.

(Media Release – Department of Census and Statistics)