Sri Lanka still has underused pools of labour: World Bank
ECONOMYNEXT – Although Sri Lanka’s population is aging and labour force expected to shrink, it still has underused pools if labour to draw on with the right policy changes, the World Bank has said.
Sri Lanka’s population between 15 and 64 is expected to start shrinking from 66 percent of the total population in 2015 to 61 percent in 2050, according to the ‘Sri Lanka Development Update’ the World Bank’s bi-annual macroeconomic publication.
The old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 14 percent to 33 percent over the same period.
The population between 15 and 64 years will be shrinking in absolute terms from 2035.
But, the World Bank said, on the supply of labor, while Sri Lanka’s population is aging, it still has pools of underutilized labor.
This was because of the low labor force participation of women, low statutory retirement age, and low average productivity of workers in agriculture, which accounts for over a quarter of the labor force, the report said.
It also noted the substantial number of Sri Lankans working abroad.
These mean that “there are still pools of underutilized labor that could be unlocked with the right policy measures,” the World Bank said.
(COLOMBO, June 29, 2018)