Sri Lanka unemployment rate falls

June 12, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2007 fell to 6.2 percent, its lowest ever rate, from 6.8 percent in the same 2006 quarter, continuing the steady declining trend seen in recent years, the Central Bank said. The total number unemployed was estimated as 462,000 for the first quarter of 2007, with unemployment among young age groups and women relatively higher, the bank said in a statement quoting the Department of Census and Statistics.

The economy has enjoyed high growth in recent years despite the ethnic conflict but has begun to slow down as the war takes its toll.

Unemployment remains higher among educated youth than others with the rate among those with General Certificate of Education/Advanced Level qualifications and above rising marginally to 12.3 percent in the first quarter of 2007 while the rate among those less qualified fell marginally.

“The problem of unemployment is also more acute in the case of educated females, where the rate stands at 18.4 percent when compared with 7.0 percent among educated males,” the statement said.

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force, and unemployed people those seeking and available for wo