Unemployment records 5-year low

Sri Lanka’s unemployment rate improved to 4.2 per cent in 2017, to record a five year, as the Department of Census and Statistics recorded only 358,507 in individuals of 8,566,686 in the labour force to be without jobs.Though Minister of Finance and Mass Media Minister, Mangala Samaraweera claimed that the unemployment rate had reached a 13-year low at 4.2 per cent, the Department of Census and Statistics highlighted that the lowest unemployment rate was recorded five years ago in 2012 at 4 per cent.
The latest annual report released by the Department of Census and Statistics highlighted that out of the 15,843,735 population above 15 years of age only 8,566,686 were considered for eligibility in labour force, representing 54.1 per cent, an all-time high.
The report highlighted that employed population of the country stood at 8,208,179, representing 95.8 per cent, while the number of unemployed stood at 358,507 representing 4.2 per cent of the labour force.
Out of the economically-active population of 8,566,686 in 2017, males represented 63.4 per cent and 36.6 per cent were represented by females.
Unemployment among women continued to remain high at 6.5 per cent during 2017, though the figure was down from 7 per cent in 2016.
Total unemployment within the urban population was at 4.4 per cent, while it was 4.2 per cent for rural and 3.7 per cent for the estate population.
Unemployment among the age group of 15-24 years in 2017 stood at 18.5 per cent, while unemployment among the age group of 25-29 years stood at 9.5 per cent, 30-39 years stood at 2.7 per cent and for the age of over 40 years it was 0.2 per cent.
The highest unemployment rate was reported from the G.C.E (A/L) and above educated group at 8.1 per cent, while it was 5.9 per cent for G.C.E (O/L) educated and 2.3 per cent for Grade 10 and below educated.
The Department highlighted a decline in the population engaged in Agriculture and Services. Out of the 8,208,179 employed 26.1 per cent were engaged in Agriculture, 45.5 per cent were in Services and 28.4 were in the industrial sector.
Unemployment rate of the country hovered around 4 per cent to 5 per cent since 2011, with unemployment of males hovered between 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, while female unemployment hovering around 6 per cent to 7.5 percent.(MA)

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