A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: Labour force survey 2019, August

Published: 24 April 2019

Unemployment decreased clearly compared with the year before

According to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, the number of unemployed persons in March was 49,000 lower and that of employed persons 61,000 higher than one year ago. The trend of the employment rate was 72.6 per cent in March. The unemployment rate in the first quarter of the year was 7.1 per cent, which was 1.7 percentage points lower than in the previous year's January to March.

Employment rate and trend of employment rate 2009/03–2019/03, persons aged 15–64

Employment rate and trend of employment rate 2009/03–2019/03, persons aged 15–64

Unemployment and employment vary quite considerably by month and the change from the observation of the previous month mainly describes the seasonal aspect rather than the trend in development. Thus, the latest statistical data are compared to the corresponding period of the year before. By contrast, the figures of the trend series that are adjusted for seasonal and random variation are mutually comparable and phenomena associated with long-term development and cyclical changes are thus more easily observable from the trend of the time series.

The trend usually changes somewhat when the data of the following month are included in the time series. This preliminary nature of trend figures should be taken into account when making conclusions. The figures reported in this release are not adjusted for seasonal variation unless separately mentioned that they concern the trend. Find out more about the trend here .

In March 2019, the number of employed persons was 2,538,000 (margin of error ± 33,000), which was 61,000 more than a year earlier. There were 32,000 more employed men and 29,000 more employed women than in March 2018.

In March, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 71.8 per cent, having been 70.0 per cent one year earlier. From the previous year’s March, the employment rate of men aged 15 to 64 rose by 1.7 percentage points to 72.4 per cent and that of women by 1.9 percentage points to 71.2 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 72.6 per cent.

According to Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey, there were 191,000 (margin of error ± 18,000) unemployed in March 2019, i.e. 49,000 fewer than one year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 117,000 and that of women 74,000.

At 7.0 per cent, the unemployment rate was 1.8 percentage points lower in March than one year earlier. The unemployment rate for men decreased by 1.0 percentage points to 8.2 per cent, and that of women by 2.7 percentage points to 5.7 per cent year-on-year. The trend of the unemployment rate was 6.4 per cent.

In March, there were a total of 616,000 young people aged 15 to 24 . Of them, 252,000 were employed and 65,000 unemployed. The number of young people in the active population, i.e. the employed and unemployed, was 317,000. In March, the unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24, that is, the proportion of the unemployed among the labour force, stood at 20.4 per cent, which was 3.7 percentage points lower than one year previously. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 15.8 per cent. The share of unemployed young people aged 15 to 24 among the population in the same age group was 10.5 per cent.

There were 1,399,000 persons in the inactive population in March 2019, which was 7,000 fewer than one year earlier. Of the inactive population, 100,000 persons were in disguised unemployment , which was 34,000 fewer than in March 2018.

Changes in employment 2018/03 – 2019/03 according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, population aged 15 to 74

  Year/Month Change
2018/03 2019/03 2018/03 - 2019/03
1000 persons Per cent, %
Population total 4 122 4 128 0,1
Active population total 2 716 2 729 0,5
Employed 2 476 2 538 2,5
– employees 2 151 2 215 3,0
– self-employed persons and unpaid family workers 325 322 –1,0
Unemployed 240 191 –20.2
Inactive population 1 405 1 399 –0,5
– persons in disguised unemployment 134 100 –25,1
  Per cent, % Percentage points
Employment rate, persons aged 15–64 70,0 71,8 1,8
Unemployment rate 8,8 7,0 –1,8
Activity rate 65,9 66,1 0,2
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data comply with the ILO/EU definition.

Labour Force Survey data for the first quarter of 2019

In the first quarter (January to March) of 2019, the average number of employed persons was 2,513,000, or 44,000 higher than in the corresponding quarter of 2018. The number of employed persons increased most in accommodation and food service activities (I), education (P) and public administration and defence (O).

The   number of hours worked by employed persons was 2.0 per cent higher in the first quarter of 2019 than twelve months previously.

The average number of unemployed persons in the first quarter of 2019 was 191,000, which was 46,000 fewer than in the January to March period of 2018. The unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2019 was 7.1 per cent, which was 1.7 percentage points lower than in the respective period of 2018.

In the first quarter of 2019, the number of persons in the inactive population was 1,423,000, which was 6,000 higher than a year earlier. Of the inactive population, 113,000 persons were in disguised unemployment , which was 28,000 fewer than in the corresponding period of 2018.

Changes in employment 2018I – 2019/I according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, population aged 15 to 74

  Year/Quarter Change
2018/I 2019/I 2018/I- 2019/I
1000 persons Per cent (%)
Active population total 2 706 2 704 –0,1
Employed persons total 2 469 2 513 1,8
Unemployed total 237 191 –19,4
– men 122 110 –10,2
– women 115 81 –29,3
Inactive population 1 418 1 423 0,4
– persons in disguised unemployment 140 113 –19,8
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data comply with the ILO/EU definition.

Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

At the end of March 2019, there were altogether 238,000 persons registered in accordance with the Employment Office Regulations as job seekers at the employment and economic development offices . The number of unemployed job seekers was 26,000 lower than in March last year.

Unemployment fell in March from the corresponding period in 2018 in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres: most in Kainuu (-16%), Southeast Finland (-15%), South Savo (-13%), North Karelia (-13%), and Ostrobothnia (-13%). At the end of March, the number of persons fully laid off registered at the employment and economic development offices was 15,000, which was the same number as twelve months earlier.

The number of persons engaged in services included in the activation rate totalled 130,000 at the end of March, which was 2,000 fewer than in March of the year before. Altogether, 4.8 per cent of the labour force was covered by labour market policy services.

There were 29,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment and economic development offices. Their number was 3,000 lower than in last year’s March. During this March, 73,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment and economic development offices, which was 10,000 more than in March 2018.

Changes 2018/03–2019/03 according to the Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

  Year/Month Change
2018/03 2019/03 2018/03 - 2019/03
1000 persons Per cent, %
Unemployed job seekers 264 238 –9,8
– unemployed over a year 83 64 –23,1
Services, total 132 130 –1,6
– employed 25 24 –4,4
– in labour market training, in training 23 25 7,4
– engaged in work/training trials 13 10 –20,8
– as a job alternation substitute, in rehabilitative work, self-motivated studies supported by unemployment benefit 71 71 0,0
New vacancies at employment and economic development offices 64 73 15,1
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.

Contact information for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Petri Syvänen, tel. +358 29 504 8050, www.tem.fi/en/employment-bulletin

Links

Labour Force Survey tables in databases .

About seasonally adjusted trend

The accuracy of figures and the margins of error are explained in the quality description of the Labour Force Survey .

Comparison between the employment statistics of Statistics Finland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Job vacancy survey

The latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU and the latest data open job vacancies published by the EU can be found on Eurostat's home page http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat .


Source: Labour force survey 2019, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Taskinen 029 551 2690, Henri Lukkarinen 029 551 3704, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (633.3 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Figures
Quality descriptions

Updated 24.04.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. March 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 20.10.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2019/03/tyti_2019_03_2019-04-24_tie_001_en.html