Sri Lankans seeking foreign employment increase in 2013

Sri Lankans seeking foreign employment increase in 2013

COLOMBO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- More Sri Lankans are seeking employment in other countries, resulting in a 7.7 percent increase in migrant workers, said a report released by the Central Bank here on Wednesday.

Foreign employment continued to record a steady growth during the first half of this year, according to the Central Bank.

Departure for foreign jobs increased to 150,408 during the period from 139,685 recorded in the corresponding period last year.

While the male migration increased 22.4 percent, female migration fell 7 percent.

"Foreign employment has continued to record a steady increase over the years, contributing to foreign exchange earnings and reducing the pressure on labor market," the Central Bank said.

The latest document titled "Recent Economic Development Report" also showed remittances from foreign employment surged 11.8 percent during the first 10 months of the year to 5.5 million U.S. dollars from 4.9 million U.S. dollars received in the same period last year.

This is the highest number of departures recorded during the corresponding period in recent years.

An increase in departures for overseas employment was observed in the categories of clerical and related services, skilled categories, middle level, unskilled labor and professionals, the report added.

Middle level and skilled labor categories reported remarkable increases in departures while unskilled labor and professional categories reported moderate increases.

A decrease in departures was observed in housemaids and semi- skilled labor categories during the first half of 2013 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Sri Lanka already has over 2 million migrant workers, mostly working in Middle Eastern countries, with 52 percent of them being women.