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

Latest publication: Labour force survey 2020, April

Published: 23 April 2020

Employment turned to a decline in March

According to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, the number of employed people was 21,000 lower in March 2020 than one year ago. There were 6,000 more unemployed than in March 2019. The trend of the employment rate was 72.9 per cent and the trend of the unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent.

Employment rate and trend of employment rate 2010/03–2020/03, persons aged 15–64

Employment rate and trend of employment rate 2010/03–2020/03, persons aged 15–64

Employment and unemployment 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 considered 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 .

The trend of the employment rate was 72.9 per cent in March. According to the seasonally adjusted data for March, the trend was 73.0 per cent in February. The trend of the unemployment rate remained unchanged from the previous month, at 6.6 per cent.

In March 2020, the number of employed persons was 2,516,000 (margin of error ±34,000), which was 21,000 lower than a year earlier. There were 23,000 fewer employed men and 2,000 more employed women than in March 2019.

In March, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 71.3 per cent, having been 71.8 per cent one year earlier. From the previous year’s March, the employment rate of men aged 15 to 64 fell by 1.2 percentage points to 71.2 per cent and that of women rose by 0.2 percentage points to 71.5 per cent.

According to Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey, there were 197,000 (margin of error ±20,000) unemployed in March 2020, which was 6,000 more than one year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 111,000 and that of women 87,000.

The unemployment rate was 7.3 per cent in March, having been 7.0 per cent in the year before. The unemployment rate for men fell by 0.3 percentage points from last year’s March to 7.9 per cent. The unemployment rate for women rose by 0.9 percentage points to 6.6 per cent.

In March, there were a total of 609,000 young people aged 15 to 24 . Of them, 217,000 were employed and 76,000 unemployed. Thus, the number of young people in the active population, i.e. the employed and unemployed in total, was 293,000. 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 25.8 per cent, which was 5.4 percentage points higher than one year previously. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 18.2 per cent. The share of unemployed young people aged 15 to 24 among the population in the same age group was 12.4 per cent.

There were 1,417,000 persons in the inactive population in March 2020, which was 18,000 more than one year earlier. Of the inactive population, 120,000 persons were in disguised unemployment , which was 20,000 more than in March 2019.

Changes in employment 2019/03 – 2020/03 according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, population aged 15 to 74

  Year/Month Change
2019/03 2020/03 2019/03 - 2020/03
1000 persons Per cent, %
Population total 4 128 4 130 0,1
Active population total 2 729 2 714 –0,6
Employed 2 538 2 516 –0,8
– employees 2 215 2 160 –2,5
– self-employed persons and unpaid family workers 322 356 10,5
Unemployed 191 197 3,1
Inactive population 1 399 1 417 1,3
– persons in disguised unemployment 100 120 19,8
  Per cent, % Percentage points
Employment rate, persons aged 15–64 71,8 71,3 –0,5
Unemployment rate 7,0 7,3 0,3
Activity rate 66,1 65,7 –0,4
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 2020

In the first quarter (January to March) of 2020, the average number of employed persons was 2,528,000, or 15,000 higher than in the corresponding quarter of 2019. The number of employed persons increased most in professional, scientific and technical activities (M), information and communication (J) and human health and social work activities (Q).

The number of hours worked by employed persons was 0.2 per cent lower in the first quarter of 2020 than twelve months previously.

The average number of unemployed persons in the first quarter of 2020 was 194,000, which was 3,000 more than in January to March 2019. The unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2020 was 7.1 per cent, which was the same as in the respective period of 2019.

In the first quarter of 2020, the number of persons in the inactive population was 1,410,000, which was 13,000 fewer than a year earlier. Of the inactive population, 122,000 persons were in disguised unemployment , which was 10,000 more than in the corresponding period of 2019.

Changes in employment 2019/I – 2020/I according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, population aged 15 to 74

  Year/Quarter Change
2019/I 2020/I 2019/I - 2020/I
1000 persons Per cent (%)
Active population total 2 704 2 721 0,6
Employed persons total 2 513 2 528 0,6
Unemployed total 191 194 1,4
– men 110 107 –2,1
– women 81 86 6,1
Inactive population 1 423 1 410 –0,9
– persons in disguised unemployment 113 122 8,5
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 2020, there were altogether 309,000 persons registered in accordance with the Employment Office Regulations as unemployed job seekers at the employment and economic development offices . The number of unemployed job seekers was 71,000 higher than in March last year.

Unemployment rose in March from the corresponding period in 2019 in the areas of all Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment: most in Uusimaa (37%), South Ostrobothnia (35%), Lapland (34%), Ostrobothnia (31%) and North Savo (30%). The number of unemployed job seekers increased least in Kainuu (18%), Häme (22%) and Central Finland (23%). At the end of March, the number of fully laid off persons registered at the employment and economic development offices was 65,000, which was 50,000 more than twelve months earlier.

The number of persons engaged in services included in the activation rate totalled 119,000 at the end of March, which was 11,000 fewer than in March of the year before. Altogether, 4.4 per cent of the labour force was covered by labour market policy services.

There were 41,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment and economic development offices. Their number was 12,000 higher than in last year’s March. During this March, 63,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment and economic development offices, which was 10,000 fewer than in the previous year's March.

Changes 2019/03–2020/03 according to the Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

  Year/Month Change
2019/03 2020/03 2019/03 - 2020/03
1000 persons Per cent, %
Unemployed job seekers 238 309 29,7
– unemployed over a year 64 65 1,8
Services, total 130 119 –8,2
– employed 24 23 –5,3
– in labour market training, in training 25 25 –0,4
– engaged in work/training trials 10 8 –23,9
– as a job alternation substitute, in rehabilitative work, self-motivated studies supported by unemployment benefit 71 64 –9,7
New vacancies at employment and economic development offices 73 63 –13,4
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, Employment bulletin

Links

The new classification of the employer sector was adopted in the Labour Force Survey starting from 1 January 2020. Comparison data according to the new classification of employer sectors for 2019 are published only in the appendix tables of the monthly and quarterly releases. Employer sector data for January and February 2020 were published retrospectively in this release .

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 on open job vacancies published by the EU can be found on
Eurostat's home page http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat .


Source: Labour force survey 2020, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tatu Leskinen 029 551 3285, Joanna Viinikka 029 551 3796, 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 23.4.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. March 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 2.6.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2020/03/tyti_2020_03_2020-04-23_tie_001_en.html