Press release 23.8.2005

Employment and unemployment in July 2005

- Number of employed persons nearly unchanged
- Employment rate 70.7 per cent
- Number of unemployed 15,000 lower than one year before
- Rate of unemployment 7.3 per cent, 197,000 unemployed
- 23,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to July 2005, the average number of employed persons 34,000 higher than in the previous year's corresponding period

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons was 2,494,000, or nearly the same as one year previously. The number of wage earners grew and that of self-employed persons fell. Employment increased in the metal industry, construction, retail trade, transport and social services. Jobs decreased in agriculture and forestry, consumer goods industry, manufacture of forestry products and furniture, and public and other services, excluding social services. Employment increased in the Provinces of Western and Eastern Finland and decreased in the Province of Southern Finland.

In July, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 70.7 per cent, which was 0.1 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for men was 73.4 per cent and that for women 67.9 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 67.7 per cent in July.

Changes in the labour force 7/2004 - 7/2005, thousand persons

  July 2005 July 2004 Change, %
7/04 - 7/05
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed total 2 494 2 490 0.2
 - wage and salary earners 2 197 2 171 1.2
 - self-employed and assisting family members 297 319 -6.7
 Employment rate, % 70.7 70.6 0.1 2
 Unemployed 1 197 212 -7.1
 Unemployment rate, % 7.3 7.8 -0.5 2
 Labour force, total 2 691 2 701 -0.4
 Labour force participation rate 68.1 68.6 -0.5 2
 Economically inactive, total 1 258 1 234 1.9
 - students 229 202 13.3
 - persons performing domestic work 97 102 -5.0
 Economically inactive persons in disguised  unemployment 95 110 -13.8
 
 Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
 Unemployed job seekers 298 309 -3.7
 - unemployed over a year 74 74 0.0
 Employed with subsidised measures 33 34 -4.4
 In labour market training 20 21 -4.3
 In trainee and job alternation places 18 17 2.9
 New vacancies at labour exchange offices 23 19 23.2
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 1 Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 197,000 unemployed in July, which is 15,000 fewer than in the previous year. The rate of unemployment was 7.3 per cent, against 7.8 per cent one year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 8.3 per cent in July. The unemployment rate for women was to 8.2 per cent and that for men 6.5 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 12.3 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate for young people was 20.2 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 6.5 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 10.2 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, in the January to July period of 2005 the average number of employed persons was 2,397,000, which is 34,000 higher than in the corresponding period of the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 239,000, that is, 11,000 lower than in the January to July period of 2004.

At the end of July 2005, there were altogether 298,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as unemployed job seekers at the labour exchange offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 11,000 lower than in July 2004. Compared with the year before, unemployment fell in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres. The number of those covered by employment policy measures was 2,000 lower than in July 2004, being 2.6 per cent of the labour force. There were 40,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 5,000 lower than in July 2004. During July, 23,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 4,000 more than in last year's July.

Differences between the Labour Force Survey and the Labour Exchange Statistics

The employment situation is monitored monthly both with the sample-based Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland and with the register-based Labour Exchange Statistics of the Ministry of Labour. The Labour Exchange Statistics describe the situation on the last weekday of the month. The data for the Labour Force Survey are collected for every week of the month.

The Labour Force Survey follows the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the practices required by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. According to them, a person is classified as unemployed if he or she is aged 15 or over, does not have a job, has actively sought employment in the past four weeks and would be available for work within two weeks. The Labour Exchange Statistics are based on legislation and administrative regulations.

The Labour Force Survey and the Labour Exchange Statistics apply two basically different statistical criteria to how actively a person seeks work and makes him/herself available on the labour market. Due to the statistical differences, the number of unemployed job seekers July not agree with the number of unemployed calculated in accordance with the ILO recommendations.

Since the Labour Force Survey is a sample survey, its data allow for random variation. In respect of the unemployment rate, for example, the 95 per cent confidence interval or the margin of error is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed is approximately ± 15,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Pekka Tossavainen +358 9 1734 3517, Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524,
Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434;
Email: tyovoima.tilastokeskus@stat.fi;
Ministry of Labour: Mr Oiva Lönnberg +358 10 60 48048; Internet: http://www.mol.fi/employmentbulletin
Latest seasonally adjusted unemployment figures published by the EU

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