Press release 23.1.2007

Employment and unemployment in December 2006

- Number of employed persons 59,000 higher than one year before
- Employment rate 69.1 per cent
- Number of unemployed persons 31,000 lower than one year before
- Unemployment rate 6.4 per cent, 168,000 unemployed
- 30,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In 2006, average number of employed 43,000 higher than in 2005
- Unemployment rate 7.7 per cent in 2006

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in December was 2,458,000, or 59,000 higher than a year earlier. Employment increased in the private sector, but remained unchanged in the public sector. The number of employed persons grew most in the Province of Southern Finland.

In December, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 69.1 per cent, which was 1.3 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for men was 70.9 per cent and that of women 67.3 per cent. The seasonally adjusted trend of employment rate was 69.6 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 12/2005 - 12/2006, thousand persons

  December 2006 December 2005 CHANGE %
12/05 - 12/06
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed, total 2,458 2,399 2.5
 - wage and salary earners 2,147 2,094 2.5
 - self-employed and assisting family members 311 305 1.9
 Employment rate, % 69.1 67.8 1.32
 Unemployed1 168 198 -15.4
 Unemployment rate, % 6.4 7.6 -1.22
 Labour force, total 2,625 2,597 1.1
 Labour force participation rate, % 66.1 65.7 0.42
 Economically inactive, total 1,345 1,358 -0.9
 - students 364 357 2.1
 - persons performing domestic work 99 91 9.1
 Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 99 130 -23.7
 
 Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
 Unemployed job seekers 247 282 -12.7
 - unemployed over a year 59 70 -16.3
 Employed with subsidised measures 38 35 7.5
 In labour market training 29 27 9.4
 In trainee and job alternation places 16 16 4.3
 New vacancies at labour exchange offices 30 26 18.5
 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 figure in the text
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation
2percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 168,000 unemployed in December 2006, i.e. 31,000 fewer than one year before. At 6.4 per cent the unemployment rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than one year before. The seasonally adjusted trend of unemployment rate was 7.3 per cent in December.

The unemployment rate was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 4.7 per cent, and highest in the Province of Oulu, at 9.5 per cent. In December 2006, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 11.5 per cent, which was 5.4 percentage points lower than in the previous year's December. The seasonally adjusted trend of unemployment rate for young people was 18.1 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in 2006 was 2,443,000, which is 43,000 up from the previous year. In 2006, the rate of employment was 68.9 per cent, having been 68.0 per cent in 2005. The average number of unemployed persons was 204,000, or 15,000 fewer than in 2005. At 7.7 per cent the unemployment rate was 0.7 percentage points lower than one year before. The PX-Web time series tables of the Labour Force Survey will be updated with 2006 data on 23 January 2007 and can be found at http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/tau.html (only in Finnish).

At end-December 2006, there were altogether 247,000 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 36,000 lower than in December 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 6,000 higher than in December the year before, and was 3.2 per cent of the labour force. There were 26,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 5,000 lower than in last year's December. During this December, 30,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 5,000 more than in December 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.

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 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: MS Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524, Information Services/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030, E-mail: tyovoimatutkimus@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