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Sri Lanka’s labour force or the estimated economically active population 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 last week.

Releasing the Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the third quarter, the Census Department said that out of the economically inactive population, 25.4 percent are males while 74.6 percent are females.

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.

Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey (LFS) is designed to measure the levels and trends of employment, unemployment and labour force in Sri Lanka. LFS has been conducted quarterly, since the first quarter of 1990.

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