This was about 54 percent of the total working age population, of 15.4 million persons (age 15 years and above). Of this labour force about 7.9 million were reported as employed and 0.36 million were reported as unemployed. Population not in labour force was about 7.1 million. The estimated Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) was 53.8 percent and this was 75.1 percent for males and 35.9 percent for females.
As per the annual report, majority of the working age females were not in labour force (5.4 million). However, the results show that within this economically inactive group of females, about 2.4 percent had shown some interest to join the labour force. This is defined as potential female labour force and was about 0.13 million. Further, the report reveals that about 79,680 males were also in potential labour force. Accordingly, the estimated total potential labour force who is likely to join the labour force with encouraging strategies was 210,484 in 2016.
Majority of the employed population were males, it was about 5.1 million, and reported female employed population was about 2.8 million. In addition, the survey reveals that majority of employed population engaged in services sector (46.5%) and followed by Agriculture (27.1%) and Industries (26.4%) sector. Further, the report reveals that out of the total employed population about 60 percent was working in informal sector. This percentage in Agriculture sector was 87.5 percent and in Non-agriculturesector,the percentage was 50.1 percent.
The overall unemployment rate reported in 2016 was 4.4 percent. The rate was 2.9 percent for males 7.0 percent for females. The highest unemployment rate was reported from youth (persons in age 15-24 years) and it was 21.6 percent. Reported female unemployment rate (7.0%) was considerably higher than that of male (2.9%).
Director General added that this report provides statistics on a special group of population called “NEET”; i.e. group of youth in age group 15-24 years who were not in Employment, Education or Training during the survey reference period. The estimated NEET in 2016 was about 0.75 million and majority of them were females (0.52 million).The NEET population reported for last six years have published in 2016 Sri Lanka Labour Force annual report. A special attention can be paid on this group at employment creation programs.
Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey (LFS) is designed to measure levels and trends of employment, unemployment and labour force in Sri Lanka. This survey has been conducted quarterly, since the first quarter of 1990. LFS 2016 is the 36th year of the survey series. The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) has released labour force statistics of 2016, based on data collected from a sample of 25,750 housing units covering the entire country. The annual report of the survey with more details is now available in the Department website www.statistics.gov.lk.