Press release 22.1.2008

Employment and unemployment in December 2007

- Number of employed persons 32,000 higher than one year earlier
- Employment rate 69.5 per cent
- Unemployment rate 6.0 per cent, 158,000 unemployed
- 29,000 new vacancies at employment offices
- Average number of employed 48,000 higher in 2007 than in 2006

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in December was 2,490,000, or 32,000 higher than a year earlier. Employment increased in the private sector. The number of wage and salary earners went up and that of self-employed persons remained nearly unchanged. The number of employed persons went up in the Provinces of Southern Finland and Western Finland and fell in the Provinces of Eastern Finland and Lapland.

In December, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 69.5 per cent, which was 0.3 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate of men was 70.2 per cent and that of women 68.7 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 70.2 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 12/2006 - 12/2007, thousand persons

  December 2007 December 2006 CHANGE, %
12/06 - 12/07
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed, total 2 490 2 458 1.3
 - wage and salary earners 2 176 2 147 1.4
 - self-employed and assisting family members 314 311 0.9
 Employment rate, % 69.5 69.1 0.32
 Unemployed1 158 168 -5.6
 Unemployment rate, % 6.0 6.4 -0.42
 Labour force, total 2 648 2 625 0.9
 Labour force participation rate, % 66.3 66.1 0.22
 Economically inactive, total 1 343 1 345 -0.2
 - students 358 364 -1.9
 - persons performing domestic work 88 99 -11.0
 
 Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy
 Unemployed job seekers 219 247 -11.2
 - unemployed over a year 48 59 -19.1
 Employed with subsidised measures 33 38 -12.2
 In labour market training 28 29 -2.5
 In trainee and job alternation places 15 16 -4.9
 New vacancies at employment offices 29 30 -3.7
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation
2percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 158,000 unemployed in December 2007, i.e. 10,000 fewer than one year before. At 6.0 per cent, the unemployment rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than one year before. The trend of the unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent in December.

The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, where it stood at 4.5 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 13.5 per cent. In December 2007, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 11.3 per cent, which was 0.2 percentage points lower than in the previous year's December. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 16.4 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons during the last quarter of 2007was 2,485,000, which is 47,000 more than in the corresponding quarter of the year before. The number of wage and salary earners went up and that of self-employed persons remained almost unchanged. The number of unemployed persons was 161,000, which is 16,000 fewer than in the October to December period of 2006.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in 2007 was 2,492,000, which is 48,000 more than in 2006. The average number of unemployed persons was 183,000, or 21,000 fewer than in 2006.

At end-December 2007, there were altogether 219,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Employment Office Regulations, as unemployed job seekers at the employment offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 28,000 lower than in December 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 6,000 lower than in December of the year before, and was 2.9 per cent of the labour force. There were 22,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in December 2006. During December 2007, 29,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment offices, which is 1,000 fewer than in December 2006.

Differences between the Labour Force Survey and the Employment Service Statistics

The employment situation is monitored monthly both with the sample-based Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland and with the register-based Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The Employment Service 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 Employment Service Statistics are based on legislation and administrative regulations.

The Labour Force Survey and the Employment Service 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 margin of error, for the unemployment rate in December is about ± 0.5 percentage points. In December, the confidence interval for the number of unemployed is approximately ± 14,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Pekka Tossavainen +358 9 1734 3517, Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434
Information service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi
Labour Force Survey home page: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/index_en.html

Ministry of Employment and the Economy: 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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