Factors Affecting Unemployment Duration of the Science and Arts Stream University Graduates in Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka has a significant youth unemployment problem. In the recent years, a more serious problem is graduate unemployment. Therefore, Sri Lanka needs to develop appropriate policies to decrease the duration of unemployment. In this regard, research is required to determine the factors that affect unemployment duration of graduates in order to provide the policy makers with solid foundations for their decision-making processes. Globally several studies have investigated unemployment duration of graduates. Up to date, no study has been done in Sri Lanka that thoroughly investigates the unemployment duration of graduates in Sri Lanka. Thus, the main aim of this research is to identify the factors that affect the duration of unemployment in the Science and Arts stream graduates in Sri Lanka. A survival analysis was conducted to determine how the considered factors affect the duration of unemployment among the Science stream graduates. Due to the nature of the information gathered in relation to the unemployment duration of the Arts stream graduates, an ordinal logistic regression was applied to identify the significant variables of unemployment duration of the Arts stream graduates among the variables considered. The findings of this study show that the Semi Parametric Cox Proportional model is appropriate to determine the relationship between graduates' time taken to obtain the first job and explanatory variables. According to the analysis, the gender, the type of the degree, the job category (private or government sector jobs) and the results of the GCE Advanced Level General English subject have a significant impact on unemployment duration of Science stream graduates. For the Arts stream graduates, the family income, the professional courses followed by graduates during their academic years at the university and the participation in extra-curricular activities while in the university were found to be significant.


Graduate Unemployment, Survival Analysis, Ordinal Logistic Regression Model


Download data is not yet available.


Altay, M. (2020). The implications of EMI Education for Graduates’ Employment Conditions. Kocaeli Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.35343/kosbed.810502

Ariyawansa, R.G., 2008. Employability of graduates of Sri Lankan universities. Sri Lankan Journal of Human Resource Management, 1(2). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/sljhrm.v2i1.5107

Babucea, A.G. and Danacica, D.E., 2007. Using Kaplan–Meier curves for preliminary evaluation the duration of unemployment spells. https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/7854/

Boudarbat, B., 2008. Job-search strategies and the unemployment of university graduates in Morocco. International Research Journal of Finance and Economics, 14, pp.15-33.

Ciuca, V.A.S.I.L.I.C.A. and Matei, M.O.N.I.C.A., 2010, October. Survival analysis for the unemployment duration. In Proceedings of the 5th WSEAS International Conference on Economy and Management Transformation (Vol. 1, pp. 354-359).

Cockshott, C. J., Kiemle, G., Byrne, P., & Gabbay, M. B. (2021). A Fall from Grace: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Unemployment in UK University Graduates with Common Mental Health Issues. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 09(01), 291–313. https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2021.91021

Dănăcică, D. and Babucea, A.G., 2007. The role of education for the duration of unemployment in Gorj Country. Studia Universitatis Babes Bolyai–Oeconomica, 1, pp.67-82. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2212-5671(14)00574-7

Dickens, W.T. and Lang, K., 1995. An analysis of the nature of unemployment in Sri Lanka. The Journal of Development Studies, 31(4), pp.620-636. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220389508422381

Dissanayake, E.L. and Benfratello, L., 2010. Determinants of Unemployment among Sri Lankan University Graduates. International Training institute of the ILO Turin. http://maled-dl.itcilo.org/study-paper-area-1/Thesis_Dissanayake_A.Y.20102011.pdf

Ekanayaka, E. M. M. S., & Gamage, P. (2019). Factors Influencing Job Seeker’s Intention to Use E-Recruitment: L Evidence from a State University in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Managerial Studies and Research, 7(8), 50–62. https://doi.org/10.20431/2349-0349.0708001

Foley, M.C., 1997. Determinants of unemployment duration in Russia. doi: 10.22004/ag.econ.28427

Gabriel, D., Brigitte, S.C. and Elisabeta, J., 2017. Estimation of Unemployment Duration in Botoşani County Using Survival Analysis. Ovidius University Annals, Series Economic. http://stec.univ-ovidius.ro/html/anale/RO/2017/Section-III/7.pdf Sciences, 17(1). v

Getie Ayaneh, M., Dessie, A. A., & Ayele, A. W. (2020). Survival Models for the Analysis of Waiting Time to First Employment of New Graduates: A Case of 2018 Debre Markos University Graduates, Northwest Ethiopia. Education Research International, 2020, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/8877504

Jayasingha, D., & Suraweera, S. (2020). An Analysis of the Factors Affecting the Graduates’ Employability in Case of Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. IRE Journals, 3(12), 1–15.

Jayathilake, H. D. (2020). The Impact of Unemployed Youth on National Development in Sri Lanka. Journal of Emerging Issues in Economics, Finance and Banking (JEIEFB).

Khezri, N., Rezaei, M., & Aram, M. (2020). Injustice, Uselessness, and Illness: A Qualitative Study of Unemployed Graduates’ Lives in Iran. Education and Urban Society, 52(1), 70–91. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124519856678

Khouli, M. E. (2021). Examining the Trends of Educational Variables in the Past Affecting Egypt’s Ability to Becoming Future-Proof in Facing Unemployment. Athens Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 7(2), 143-154. doi:10.30958/ajms.7-2-4

Lam, D., Leibbrandt, M. and Mlatsheni, C., 2007. Dynamics of labor market entry and youth unemployment in South Africa: evidence from the cape area panel study. https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/55748/IPC-working-paper-034-Lam.pdf

Thomas, L. and Reyes, E.M., 2014. Tutorial: survival estimation for Cox regression models with time-varying coefficients using SAS and R. J Stat Softw, 61(c1), pp.1-23. https://www.jstatsoft.org/article/view/v061c01/v61c01.pdf

Unemployment Rate Definition. (2020, July 28). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/u/unemploymentrate.asp

Weerasiri, A. R. P., & Samaraweera, G. R. S. R. C. (2021). Factors influencing Youth Unemployment in Sri Lanka. ASIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES, 1–24. http://repo.lib.sab.ac.lk:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/1650

Wimalarathna, B. M. R. M., Kumara, P. H. T., & Niroshini, S. (2020). Causes of Unemployment among the Educated Youth in Sri Lanka. 1. http://www.erepo.lib.uwu.ac.lk/bitstream/handle/123456789/5674/proceeding_oct_08-147.pdf




How to Cite

Gunarathne, L., & Jayasinghe, C. L. (2021). Factors Affecting Unemployment Duration of the Science and Arts Stream University Graduates in Sri Lanka. Advanced Journal of Social Science, 8(1), 96-120. Retrieved from https://journals.aijr.in/index.php/ajss/article/view/3341