The report, titled ‘Determinants of Unemployment among Sri Lankan University Graduates’, states that economic inactivity among educated females was relatively high.
More than 5,000 graduates, who passed out from six national universities during 2006 – 2009, were taken as the survey sample and it was conducted in association with the University Grants Commission with the financial aid from the International Labour Organisation under the ‘Decent Work’ country programme.
The survey report also said that the unemployment amongst educated females was also significantly higher than among educated males. The female and male unemployment rates were 15.8 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.
According to the report, it was therefore evident that the educated youth, especially females were deprived of reasonable opportunities in the Sri Lankan labour market.
The rate of unemployment among young adults, especially among educated individuals, was remarkably high.
It said: The unemployment rate among young adults between 25 – 29 years old was 17.8 per cent of the labour force while the unemployment rate of the educated individuals was 11.6 per cent of the labour force.
According to the report, even amongst the educated individuals who had been considered as employed at the Annual Labour Force Survey – 2009, the incidence of under – employment and informality was considerably high.
The survey found that 3.3 per cent of educated individuals were underemployed while 16.1 per cent were employed in the informal sector.
However, the overall unemployment rate in Sri Lanka was 4.9 per cent of the labour force and it was a relatively low rate.
Currently, there are 25,000 unemployed graduates in the country and this was around 6.8 per cent of the total unemployed population.
More interestingly, the report stated that the figure of unemployed graduates would have been much larger if the government in 2006 had not absorbed approximately 42,000 graduates into the public sector.
by Dasun Edirisinghe