Sri Lanka unemployment rate edges up 2019 2Q

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s unemployment rate has risen to 4.9 percent in the second quarter of 2019 the highest since 5.1 percent seen in the third quarter of 2015, data from the state statistics office show, though more new jobs had been created during the year.

The data is based on a sample survey with a 95 percent confidence interval.

The labour force had gone up to 8.2 million persons in the second quarter of 2019 from 7.9 million in the second quarter of 2019.

The total employed in services, had gone up from 3.82 million to 3.89 million persons. Those employed in industry had gone up from 2.1 million to 2.3 million.

Agricultural jobs had also gone up from 1.92 million to 1.99 million.

The share of services sector workers had dropped to 47.5 percent from 48.3 percent, and industries had risen to 28.3 percent from 27.5 percent. Agriculture workers had marginally gone up to 24.3 percent from 24.2 percent.

The highest unemployment rate of 9.5 percent was from the G.C.E. Advanced Level and above qualified group, unchanged from an year earlier.

Female unemployment rates are higher than those of males in all levels of education.

“The problem of unemployment is more acute in the case of educated females than educated males, which was observed consistently over the results of previous survey rounds as well,” the Departmetn of Census and Statistics said.

Female participation in the labor force during the June quarter was 34.6 percent, grew from 32.5 percent a year earlier.

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Earlier surveys have shown firms are averse to hiring females as many leave jobs when they marry, or have children. (Colombo/ Oct09/2019)