Highest unemployment rate among educated people

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The highest unemployment rate in Sri Lanka is found among those with educational qualifications above the G.C.E. (A/L); it is about 7.9 per cent.

The problem of unemployment in Sri Lanka is more acute in the case of educated females than educated males, according to the Census and Statistics Department’s (CSD), Sri Lanka Labour Force Statistics (LFS) Third Quarter-2014.

The unemployment rate reported for females is 6.0 per cent and it is 3.3 per cent for males. The number of unemployed persons is 374,122 during the third quarter 2014 and the overall unemployment rate is 4.2 per cent.

The survey results reveal that unemployment rate is higher among females than males in all age groups. Corresponding percentages are 6.3 per cent and 9.6 per cent for males and females respectively. Female unemployment rates are higher than those of males in all levels of education.

LFS reveal that the youth (15 – 24 years) unemployment rate reported for third quarter 2014 was 20.6 per cent; it was the highest among all age groups. The unemployment rates for males and females are 18.2 and 24.5 per cent respectively.

According to the CSD, the estimated economically active population is about 8.8 million in the third quarter 2014. Of which 65.6 per cent are males and 34.4 per cent females. Out of the economically inactive population 25.3 per cent are males and 74.7 per cent females.

The total number of employed persons in Sri Lanka is estimated at about 8.5 million. Of which, about 44.5 per cent are engaged in services sector, 26.6 per cent in Industries sector and 29.0 per cent in agriculture sector.

Regardless of the gender, the highest employment is concentrated in service sector. Of the employed females 32.8 per cent are in the agriculture sector while this share is 27.0 per cent for males.

There have been no statistically significant drops or increases of unemployment rates reported in different time periods starting from first quarter 2013 to third quarter 2014.

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