Press release 26.8.2008

Employment and unemployment in July 2008

- Number of employed persons 27,000 higher than one year earlier
- Employment rate 73.4 per cent
- Unemployment rate 5.2 per cent, 144,000 unemployed
- 35,000 new vacancies at employment offices
- In the January to July period of 2008, average number of employed persons 50,000 higher than in the respective period of 2007

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in July was 2,622,000, or 27,000 higher than a year earlier. Among wage and salary earners, the number of full-time employees increased and that of fixed-term or part-time employees decreased.

In July, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 73.4 per cent, which was 0.5 percentage points higher than one year previously. The employment rate of men was 75.5 per cent and that of women 71.2 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 70.8 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 7/2007 - 7/2008, thousand persons

  July 2008 July 2007 CHANGE, %
7/07 - 7/08
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 622 2 595 1.0
- wage and salary earners 2 308 2 282 1.1
- self-employed and assisting family members 314 313 0.4
Employment rate % 73.4 72.9 0.52
Unemployed1 144 161 -10.7
Unemployment rate % 5.2 5.9 -0.62
Labour force total 2 766 2 756 0.4
Labour force participation rate % 69.1 69.2 -0.22
Economically inactive total 1 239 1 225 1.2
       
Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Unemployed job seekers 221 238 -7.3
- unemployed over a year 44 53 -15.8
Employed with subsidised measures 35 38 -7.0
In labour market training 20 21 -6.3
In trainee and job alternation places 16 16 -0.7
New vacancies at employment offices 35 32 7.6
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column.
 1 Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation.
2 percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 144,000 unemployed in July 2008, i.e. 17,000 fewer than in July of the year before. At 5.2 per cent, the unemployment rate was 0.6 percentage points lower than one year earlier. The trend of the unemployment rate was 6.4 per cent in July.

The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, where it stood at 4.0 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 8.0 per cent. In July 2008, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 9.8 per cent, which was 0.2 percentage points higher than in the previous year's July. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 16.4 per cent.

In the January to July period of 2008, the average number of employed persons was 2,538,000 persons, or 50,000 higher than in the respective period of 2007. The number of unemployed persons was 183,000, which is 16,000 fewer than in the January to July period of 2007.

At the end of July 2008, there were altogether 221,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as unemployed job seekers at the employment offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 17,000 lower than in July 2007. 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 4,000 lower than in July the year before, and stood at 2.6 per cent of the labour force. There were 27,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment offices. Their number was 2,000 lower than in last year's July. During July, 35,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment offices, which is 2,000 more than in July 2007.

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 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 of the unemployment rate in July or the margin of error is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed is approximately ± 13,000 persons.

Inquiries: Statistics Finland: Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225, Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524, 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://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/index_en.html

Ministry of Employment and the Economy: Mr Petri Syvänen +358 10 60 48050, Internet:
http://www.tem.fi/employmentbulletin

Latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU

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