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* Unemployment rate declines in Sri Lanka
Wed, Mar 17, 2010, 08:39 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 17, Colombo: According to the Sri Lankan government the unemployment rate in the country has continued to decline from 8.8 percent in 2002 to its lowest level of 5.2 percent in 2008.

Although a gradual decline in unemployment has been observed during the 2002-2009 period, it slightly increased to a 5.8 percent in 2009.

According to the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the unemployment rate for the 3rd quarter of 2009 slightly increased to 5.9 percent due to the pressure on the domestic establishments from the shrinking external demand.

The government expects the unemployment rate for 2010 to be lower than the rate in 2009 with the revival of economic activity of the North and East coupled with the improvements in external demand.

Out of the total employed population, a 43 percent, about 7.6 million are engaged in the services sector while 32 percent are in the agriculture sector. Another 25 percent are employed in the industrial sector.

A declining trend in employment in the industry and agriculture sectors is observed while employment in the services sector has increased, the government said.

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