Press release 19.9.2006

Employment and unemployment in August 2006

- Number of employed persons 69,000 higher than one year before
- Rate of employment 70.5 per cent
- Unemployment rate 6.9 per cent, 185,000 unemployed
- 41,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to August 2006, average number of employed 44,000 higher than during the same period of 2005

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in August was 2,506,000, or 69,000 higher than a year earlier. The number of both wage and salary earners and self-employed grew. In the private sector, the number of employed persons went up by 52,000 (+3.0%) and in the central government sector by 22,000 (+15.8%). Throughout the summer months, the share of full-time students was also higher among the employed than one year earlier. Jobs increased most in the Provinces of Southern Finland and Oulu.

In April, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 70.5 per cent, which was 1.5 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for women rose by 0.2 percentage points to 67.2 per cent. The employment rate for men rose by 2.8 percentage points to 73.1 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 69.0 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 8/2005 - 8/2006, thousand persons

  August 2006 August 2005 CHANGE, %
8/05 - 8/06
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 506 2 437 2.8
- wage and salary earners 2 181 2 128 2.5
- self-employed and assisting family members 325 308 5.5
Employment rate, % 70.5 69.0 1.52
Unemployed 1 185 188 -2.0
Unemployment rate, % 6.9 7.2 -0.32
Labour force, total 2 691 2 625 2.5
Labour force participation rate, % 67.9 66.5 1.42
Economically active, total 1 274 1 324 -3.8
- students 297 324 -8.2
- persons performing domestic work 98 84 16.3
Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 99 88 12.7
 
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 243 269 -9.7
- unemployed over a year 64 73 -11.8
Employed with subsidised measures 39 39 -0.8
In labour market training 24 23 2.1
In trainee and job alternation places 17 16 9.6
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 41 36 12.8
Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
Due to rounding the year-on-year changes in the table do not always match with the figures in the text.
1 Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
2 percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 185,000 unemployed in August, i.e. 3,000 fewer than one year before. The rate of unemployment was 6.9 per cent, having been 7.2 per cent twelve months earlier. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent in August. The unemployment rate for women rose from the previous year's 7.4 per cent to 7.8 per cent. The unemployment rate for men diminished from 6.9 to 6.0 per cent. In August 2006 the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 13.4 per cent, which was 0.5 percentage points lower than in August of the year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the rate of unemployment for young people was 18.4 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 4.9 per cent, and highest in the Province of Oulu, at 10.3 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to August 2006 period was 2,446,000, which is 44,000 more than over the corresponding period of the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 218,000, or 15,000 fewer than in the January to August period of 2005.

At the end of August 2006, there were altogether 243,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as job seekers at the labour exchange offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 26,000 lower than in August 2005. Unemployment fell from the previous year in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres. The number of those covered by employment policy measures was 2,000 higher than in August 2005, and was 3.0 per cent of the labour force. There were 28,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in last year's August. During this August, 41,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 5,000 more than in August 2005.

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.

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

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 statistical differences, the number of unemployed job seekers may not agree with the number of unemployed calculated in accordance with the ILO recommendations.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225
Email: tyovoima.tilastokeskus@stat.fi; Internet: 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 employment figures published by the EU

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