Press release 23.9.2008

Employment and unemployment in August 2008

- Number of employed persons 8,000 higher than one year earlier
- Employment rate 71.5 per cent
- Unemployment rate 5.6 per cent, 151,000 unemployed
- 45,000 new vacancies at employment offices
- In the January to August period of 2008, average number of employed persons 45,000 higher than in the respective period of 2007

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in August was 2,566,000, or 8,000 higher than a year earlier. This change is within the margin of error for the number of employed persons. The number of employed persons grew in the public sector and fell in the private sector. The number of employed persons decreased in the Province of Oulu and stayed unchanged or increased slightly in the other provinces.

In August, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 71.5 per cent, which was the same as one year previously. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 70.6 per cent. The employment rate of men was 73.6 per cent and that of women 69.5 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people fell from 48.9 to 45.0 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 8/2007 - 8/2008, thousand persons

  August 2008 August 2007 Change % 8/07 - 8/08
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 566 2 558 0.3
- wage and salary earners 2 236 2 227 0.4
- self-employed and assisting family members 330 331 -0.4
Employment rate % 71.5 71.5 0.02
Unemployed 1 151 162 -6.6
Unemployment rate % 5.6 5.9 -0.42
Labour force total 2 717 2 719 -0.1
Labour force participation rate % 67.8 68.3 -0.52
Economically inactive total 1 291 1 264 2.2
       
Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Unemployed job seekers 195 210 -7.2
- unemployed over a year 42 51 -16.9
Employed with subsidised measures 37 39 -5.0
In labour market training 23 25 -6.4
In trainee and job alternation places 16 17 -2.9
New vacancies at employment offices 45 49 -7.5
 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 151,000 unemployed in August 2008, i.e. 11,000 fewer than in August of the year before. This change is within the margin of error for the number of unemployed persons. The number of unemployed men fell, while that of unemployed women was almost unchanged.

At 5.6 per cent, the unemployment rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than one year earlier. The unemployment rate of men was 4.6 per cent and that of women 6.5 per cent. The trend of the unemployment rate was 6.4 per cent in August.

The unemployment rate was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, at 4.8 per cent, and highest in the Province of Oulu, at 8.0 per cent. In August 2008, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 11.7 per cent, which was 2.8 percentage points higher than in the previous year's August. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 17.1 per cent.

In the January to August period of 2008, the average number of employed persons was 2,541,000 persons, or 45,000 higher than in the respective period of 2007. The number of unemployed persons was 179,000, which is 15,000 fewer than in the January to August period of 2007.

At the end of August 2008, there were altogether 195,000 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 15,000 lower than in August 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 August the year before, and stood at 2.8 per cent of the labour force. There were 22,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment offices. Their number was the same as in last year's August. During August, 45,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment offices, which is 4,000 fewer than in August 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. 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 ± 14,000 persons.

Inquiries: Statistics Finland: Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524,
Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434. Information Service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030,
Email: tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi, Internet: http://tilastokeskus.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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