The Northern Province added around 78,000 jobs between 2011 and 2015, a 22 per cent increase in the labour force in the Province, which is also the largest percentage increase in the country, the World Bank (WB) in a report released on 9 October said.
However, the jobs added to the labour force were predominantly concentrated in the Jaffna and Vavuniya Districts, two districts with relatively low poverty rates, it said.
In the Eastern Province (EP), job growth was predominantly in the industry sector (39,275 out of a total of 41,916 jobs added between 2011 and 2015), and that Province saw a net loss in agriculture sector jobs.
Within the industry sector, most of the new jobs were concentrated in manufacturing and construction, in the EP. Further, in the EP, growth in employment was primarily concentrated in Batticaloa, followed by Trincomalee. Ampara experienced a net job loss between 2011 and 2015.
Generally, while job growth has been strong in both Provinces, there is an uneven distribution of jobs — both in terms of geographic location and the sector of the economy — with fewer jobs available to the semi-skilled and unskilled labour force.