Sri Lanka's unemployment rate drops to 4.3 pct in last quarter of 2023

COLOMBO (Xinhua) ;   Sri Lanka's official unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent in the final quarter of 2023 from 4.7 percent in the previous quarter, the latest data from the Department of Census and Statistics showed.    
 The department said the country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 1.6 percent in the third quarter and 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023.    
 The department said that as the worst of the crisis in the economy appears to be behind, people are now beginning to find opportunities in the labor market.    
 Many companies that have, until recently, either laid off staff or frozen their hiring due to the effects of the crises are now beginning to rehire as the economy shows signs of recovery, the department said.    
 The department said in the last two years Sri Lanka saw mass migration, particularly among professionals, and as companies begin to rehire, they might find a shortage of talent in the economy.    
 An official jobless rate of 4.3 percent reflects near full employment and thus points to tight labor market conditions as well, the department said.