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The Determinants of Unemployment among the Educated Youth in Sri Lanka

Mallawarachchi, L. U., and Peiris, T. S. G.


As unemployment among the educated youth has been a common problem over the past years in Sri Lanka, this study was initiated to determine the factors affecting the educated unemployed youth (EUY). Data from the Annual Labor Force Survey in 2016 conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) was used for this study. This analysis is based on 4002 individuals whose age category of (15-24) and qualified with the G. C. E. (O/L) and G. C. E. (A/L) qualifications. For the analysis, seven variables used were gender, race, religion, marital status, education attainment, literacy in English and the residential sector. When each variable was considered separately, it was found that gender, religion, education attainment, literacy level in English and residential sector have significant impact on EUY. The educated female unemployed youth is significantly higher than that of males. The highest percentage of EUY was found among Buddhists while the lowest percentage was found among Muslims. The rate of EUY having G. C. E (A/L) qualification is significantly less than that of G. C. E. (O/L) qualification. Of the residential sector, the highest unemployed rate (78%) was found in the estate sector. When all the seven variables were considered simultaneously using Binary logistic model, only gender, religion, marital status, education attainment, and residential sector were found significant on EUY. The overall correct classification rate of the Binary Logistic model is 76.2%. When only two way interactions were considered, the model was found to be significant based on Hosmer and Lemeshow statistic (p=0.460) and the overall correct classification was improved to 77.1%. The significant interaction was found between gender and education attainment, religion, marital status and English literacy. The percentage of married male EUY is significantly lower than that of unmarried male, but the percentage of EUY is almost same for females irrespective of marital status. The lowest percentage of EUY was noted for males having G. C. E. (A/L). The percentage of male EUY who are unable to read and write is almost the same than that of males who are able to read and write. Percentage of female EUY is much higher among those unable to read and write than that of able to read and write. The inferences derived in this study can effectively be utilized to reduce the EUY in Sri Lanka.

KEYWORDS: Educated youth, Labour force, Logistic regression, Unemployment

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