Sri Lanka unemployed inches up in 1Q 2019; 221,000 new jobs created

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s unemployment has inched up to 4.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019 from 4.5 percent in 2018, but 221,000 new jobs have been created over the past 12-months, the state statistics office said.

The female labour force participation rate went up to 34.9 percent in the first quarter of 2019 from 33.5 percent last year, boosting the overall rate to 52.6 percent from 52 percent. The male participation rate was flat at 73.4 percent.

The male unemployment rate increased to 4.7 percent from 4.5 percent over the past year while female unemployment dropped to 6.9 percent from 7.4 percent.

The data is based on a survey which has a 95 percent confidence interval.

Employment in services grew by 253,502 over the 12 months ending March 2019 to 385 million persons, and industrial employment grew by 88,216 to 2.31 million.

There was a drop of 120,106 persons employed in agriculture, leaving the sector with 2.01 million persons, which may indicate an improvement in labour productivity.

The labour force participation rate went up to 52.6 percent to in the first quarter of 2019 from 52.0 percent last year. (Colombo/July02/2019)