ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s unemployment rate ticked up to 4.6 percent in the second quarter of 2016, from 42 percent in the first quarter, amid a drop in agricultural workers, but non-farm sectors continued to generate jobs, data from the state statistics office showed.
The total employment population which grew from 7.88 million in the second quarter of 2015 to 7.98 million in the first quarter of 2016 dropped to 7.968 million in the second quarter of 2016.
Agriculture workers were down to 1.96 million in the second quarter from 2.27 million a year earlier. Whether this is related to a drought or partly due to a longer term trend is not yet clear.
In order for labour productivity to go up and living standards to improve, workers have to move out of agriculture to better paying industry or services sector jobs.
More jobs continued to be created in non-farm sectors.
Workers in industry grew to 2.12 million from 2.06 million in the first quarter.
Workers in services grew to 3.72 million from 3.62 million in the first quarter.