Sri Lanka labour force 9 mn, unemployment 5 pct in 3Q: Census Dept

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Dec 23, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s labour force is about nine million in the third quarter of 2015, of which 64.5 percent are males and 35.5 percent are females, the Department of Census and Statistics said.

The Department has released employment, unemployment and labour force statistics based on a sample of about 6,250 housing units covering the whole country.

The working age for Sri Lanka is defined as age 15 years and above and the labour force is defined as the economically active population who are in working age.

Labour force population expressed as a percentage of the working age population is the labour force participation rate which is 53.8 percent (74.7% for males and 35.7% for females) for the 3rd quarter.

Persons, who worked at least one hour during the reference period, as paid employees, employers, own account workers or contributing family workers are also said to be employed.

The estimated employed population is about 8.5 million for the quarter, of which, about 45.5 percent engaged in Services sector, 27.2 percent in Industries sector and 27.4 percent in Agriculture sector.

Highest employment share is in service sector and this is true for both male and female, while the lowest shares are for industry sector.

The survey also reveals that about 67 percent of the employed population works more than 40 hours per week.

During the quarter persons who did not work, looking for work and ready to accept a job given a work opportunity within next two weeks are said to be unemployed.

The proportion of unemployed population to the total labour force is unemployment rate. The estimated unemployment rate for the third quarter is 5.0 percent.

The youth (age 15-24) unemployment rate for 3rd quarter is 22.9 percent (20.3% for males and 26.8% for females).

The results also reveal that unemployment is higher among educated persons who have G.C.E (A/L) and above and the rates for male and female are 6 percent and 14.1 percent respectively.

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B Abey
B Abey
6 years ago

What rubbish!The above claim is true only if you define unemployment as “being not employed by the govt or big blue chips”. I am a SME employer. For the past 12 months I have placed more than 20 adverts trying to fill vacancies for the following areas: unskilled /skilled labour (Pay Rs 26,000 p.m), sales (Pay trainees Rs15,000,1 yr exp 20,000 & 3yrs Rs 30,000 plus commissions), Also trainee Technicians. I am sure this is the case with many small companies. Specially at Junior and trainee levels we advertise in TOPJOBs and when we get 15 -20 applicants we call for interviews all of them and only 2 or 3 turn up. Once for a classified advert in the Lankadeepa for a labourer only a woman on behalf of the husband and another 65 yr old came.So in my view and experience there is no unemployment In Colombo, Gampaha & Kalutara districts and probably, Kandy, Galle & Mathara too there is no unemployment. (Pitty the article did not publish the rate by the district).

However I am sure there is unemployment in most agricultural districts but that too is part unemployment because most are unavailable for work when their agri crop require their services.

Other point is that they are unemployed for the purpose of getting SAMURDI or what ever it is called. Census dept and policy makers better look at these problems.

Nirmalan Dhas
Nirmalan Dhas
6 years ago
Reply to  B Abey

Interesting and valuable anecdotal information that makes it necessary to look at research methods very carefully and critically and even skeptically…