Press release 24.1.2006

Employment and unemployment in December 2005

- Number of employed persons 63,000 higher than one year before
- Employment rate 67.8 per cent
- Number of unemployed almost unchanged
- Rate of unemployment 7.6 per cent, 198,000 unemployed
- 26,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In 2005, the average number of employed persons 36,000 higher than in 2004
- Unemployment rate 8.4 per cent in 2005

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons was 2,399,000, i.e. 63,000 higher than one year before. The number of wage earners grew while that of self-employed persons remained almost unchanged. In the private sector the number of jobs increased but in the public sector employment remained on the same level. Employment increased in manufacturing, construction, business services and social services. Jobs decreased in transport and trade. Employment increased in all provinces, most in the Provinces of Western and Eastern Finland.

In December, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 67.8 per cent, which was 1.5 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for men was 69.5 per cent and that for women 66.0 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 68.7 per cent in December.

Changes in the labour force 12/2004 - 12/2005, thousand persons

  December 2005 December 2004 Change, %
12/04 - 12/05
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 399 2 336 2.7
- wage and salary earners 2 094 2 035 2.9
- self-employed and assisting family members 305 301 1.1
Employment rate, % 67.8 66.3 1.5 2
Unemployed 1 198 195 1.9
Unemployment rate, % 7.6 7.7 -0.1 2
Labour force, total 2 597 2 531 2.6
Labour force participation rate 65.7 64.2 1.5 2
Economically inactive, total 1 358 1 409 -3.7
- students 357 385 -7.2
- persons performing domestic work 91 98 -7.0
Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 130 112 15.5
 
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 282 301 -6.1
- unemployed over a year 70 76 -7.0
Employed with subsidised measures 31 33 -7.8
In labour market training 27 29 -9.5
In trainee and job alternation places 20 19 3.0
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 26 21 20.5
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, the number of unemployed persons was 198,000 in December, which is 3,000 more than one year before. The rate of unemployment was 7.6 per cent, while it was 7.7 per cent one year earlier. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 8.4 per cent in December. The unemployment rate for women rose by 1.1 percentage points to 8.6 per cent. The unemployment rate for men fell by the same amount and was 6.8 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 16.9 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate for young people was 19.9 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 6.6 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 14.9 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, in 2005 the average number of employed persons was 2,401,000, which is 36,000 higher than in the corresponding period of the year before. The good employment development that started in late autumn 2004 continued evenly throughout the year: in 2005 the employment rate was 68.0 per cent, while in 2004 it was 67.2 per cent. The average number of unemployed persons was 220,000, that is, 9,000 lower than in 2004. The unemployment rate was 8.4 per cent, against 8.8 per cent in 2004.

At the end of December 2005, there were altogether 282,000 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 18,000 lower than in December 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 5,000 lower than in December 2004, being 3.0 per cent of the labour force. There were 31,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in December 2004. During December, 26,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 4,000 more than in last year's December.

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 may 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 ± 0.6 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed is approximately ± 15,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434; Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225;
Information service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030; tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi
Homepage of the Labour Force Survey: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/index_en.html

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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