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Rapid decline in unemployment

COLOMBO: Unemployment rate has shown a rapid decline last year from the first quarter of the year to the last quarter, a Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey revealed.

The survey is being conducted quarterly since the first quarter of 1990 by the Department of Census and Statistics.

According to Labour Force Statistics Bulletin of the Census and Statistics Department “the declining trend of unemployment has continued and there is a significant decrease of unemployment rates in 2006, when compared with the unemployment rates for 2003, 2004 and 2005.”

Unemployment rate has dropped from 8.1 per cent in 2004 and 7.2 in 2005 to 6.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2006, statistics revealed.

The number of the employed is estimated as 7 million in the third quarter of 2006.

The estimated total working age population was 14.9 million persons of which nearly 7.6 million were economically active.

This includes 64 per cent males and 36 per cent females.

Of the economically inactive population, 31 per cent were males and 69 per cent females.

The survey has also revealed that unpaid family workers are higher among females.

Nearly 20 per cent of employed females are unpaid family workers, while this percentage from males is 4.5 per cent.

The number of females engaged in public sector activities are higher than that of males, according to the survey.

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