Press release 19.6.2007

Employment and unemployment in May 2007

- Number of employed persons 60,000 higher than one year earlier
- Employment rate 70.2 per cent
- Unemployment rate 8.5 per cent, 232,000 unemployed
- 47,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to May 2007, average number of employed 47,000 higher than during the same period of 2006

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in May was 2,499,000, or 60,000 higher than a year earlier. Employment increased most in the private sector. There were 62,000 more wage and salary earners than twelve months earlier, whereas the number of self-employed persons was almost unchanged. There were 52,000 more wage and salary earners in continuing full-time employment. The number of employed persons went up in all provinces except Eastern Finland where it remained unchanged.

In May, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 70.2 per cent, which was 1.5 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate of men was 72.0 per cent and that of women 68.3 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 70.1 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 5/2006 - 5/2007, thousand persons

  May 2007 May 2006 Change %
5/06 - 5/07
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed, total 2,499 2,439 2.5
- wage and salary earners 2,168 2,106 2.9
- self-employed and assisting family members 331 333 -0.6
Employment rate, % 70.2 68.7 1.52
Unemployed1 232 275 -15.7
Unemployment rate, % 8.5 10.1 -1.62
Labour force, total 2,730 2,714 0.6
Labour force participation rate, % 68.6 68.5 0.12
Economically inactive, total 1,248 1,247 0.1
- students 268 263 1.8
- persons performing domestic work 94 100 -6.5
 
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 202 235 -14.2
- unemployed over a year 52 65 -19.8
Employed with subsidised measures 43 40 6.9
In labour market training 32 30 6.0
In trainee and job alternation places 19 19 -0.1
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 47 44 5.8
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation
2 percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 232,000 unemployed in May 2007, i.e. 43,000 fewer than in May of the year before. At 8.5 per cent the unemployment rate was 1.6 percentage points lower than one year before. The trend of the unemployment rate was 6.3 per cent in May.

The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 6.9 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 13.8 per cent. In May 2007, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 27.0 per cent, which was 6.5 percentage points lower than in the previous year's May. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 15.0 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to May 2007 period was 2,440,000, which is 47,000 more than over the corresponding period of the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 204,000, or 28,000 fewer than in the January to May period of 2006.

At the end of May 2007, there were altogether 202,000 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 33,000 lower than in May 2006. 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 5,000 higher than in May of the year before, and was 3.5 per cent of the labour force. There were 19,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in last year's May. During this May, 47,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 3,000 more than in May 2006.

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 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. For example, the 95 per cent confidence interval, or the margin of error, for the May unemployment rate is about ± 0.6 percentage points. The confidence interval for the May number of unemployed is approximately ± 17,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Pekka Tossavainen +358 9 1734 3517, Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225,
Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523
Information Service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030, Email: tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi
Internet: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyokay/index_en.html

Ministry of Labour: Mr Petri Syvänen 358 10 60 48050, Internet: http://www.mol.fi/employmentbulletin

Latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU

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