Sri Lanka’s unemployment rate has risen to 4.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2016, from 4.2 per cent in the first quarter, amid a drop in agricultural workers, although non-farm sectors continued to generate jobs, data from the state statistics office showed last week.

According to the Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics, the number of unemployed persons during the second quarter 2016 is estimated as 377,987.

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.

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.

The estimated economically active population is about 8.2 million in the second quarter 2016. Of which 64.3 per cent are males and 35.7 per cent are females. Out of the economically inactive population 24.6 per cent are males and 75.4 per cent are females.
Overall unemployment rate reported for female is 7.3 per cent and it is 3.1 per cent for male. Youth unemployment rate (age 15 – 24 years) corresponding to the second quarter 2016 is 22.2 per cent and that reports the highest unemployment rate among all other age groups. Further rates for both male and female are 17.7 and 30.5 per cent respectively for age group 15—24.

 The distribution of Labour force participation rate (LFPR) by age group and by gender depicts high male participation compared to female in all age groups. Labour force population is expressed as a per centage of the population, age 15 years and over.
The highest participation rate for male was reported from age group 35—39 years (97.0%), while that for female was reported from the age group 40—44 years which is 51.5%.

The survey results further revealed that the unemployment among females is higher than that of males, in all age groups. Youth and female unemployment contribute more to the overall unemployment of the country.

The highest unemployment rate is reported from the GCE (A/L) and above group which is about 8.6 per cent. Corre-sponding per centages are 4.6 per cent and 12.5 per cent for male and female respectively. Female unemployment rates are higher than those of males in all levels of education.

“This further shows that 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 Quarterly Labour Force Statistics bulletin said.
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.

Unemployment rate
The proportion of unemployed population in relation to the total labour force

Labour force
This is the currently economically active population. Which is the number of persons (age 15 years & above) who are employed or unemployed during the reference week

Definition of ‘unemployed’
Persons available and/or looking for work, and who did not work and taken steps to find a job during last four weeks and ready to accept a job given a work opportunity within next two weeks are said to be unemployed.