Sri Lanka’s labour market has been riddled with persistent high informality, an unchanging low female labour force participation, and low quality of available jobs. Enhancing exports can be a solution to these intractable problems, according to the findings of the Exports to Jobs – Boosting the Gains from Trade in South Asia report, which shows that boosting exports improves domestic labour markets by creating jobs, increasing wages, and reducing informality.
Greater Social Protection for Sri Lankan Women through Better Jobs: Role of Technology and Innovation
Globally, 740 million women are employed in the informal economy, with limited access to social protection. In this context, this year the United Nations (UN) celebrated the International Women’s Day (IWD), under the theme ‘think equal, build smart, innovate for change’, focusing on how countries can achieve gender equality and empower women, particularly through social protection systems, public services, and sustainable infrastructure. Sunimalee Madurawala highlights the labour market conditions that hinder social protection coverage for women and examines how technology and innovation can help increase labour market access and opportunities for women.
In 2017, foreign exchange earnings from worker remittances to Sri Lanka stood at USD 7.2 billion, well ahead of other major foreign exchange earners, while they also covered 96% of the trade deficit. Despite a few fluctuations, worker remittances to Sri Lanka have been growing over the years. At the same time, many developments in ICT and FinTech have emerged to facilitate remittance transaction. Nevertheless, whilst simplifying and making remitting more efficient, these developments have made remittances even more complicated.
Allowing Youth to Tuk-Tuk or not Tuk-Tuk: Should Access to Three Wheeler Market in Sri Lanka be Regulated?
The large number of youth being employed as three wheeler drivers in Sri Lanka has concerned policymakers, especially given the widespread labour shortages in the country. The government has tried to intervene in the tuk-tuk market by attempting to impose an age restriction on three-wheeler operators. But is this a smart move? This blog attempts to clarify some myths about the three wheeler market, while weighing in on the debate on whether the government should impose an age restriction on three-wheel drivers.
The presence of a large population of youth not in education, employment, or training (NEETs) is a major cause for concern for Sri Lanka. Worryingly, the country recorded a NEET rate of 26.1% in 2016, above the ILO global average estimate of 21.8%. In this blog, Ashani Abayasekara looks at the factors that increase the likelihood of youth becoming NEET and gives several policy recommendations to improve the situation.