Published: 24 June 2020

Employment weakened and unemployment grew in May compared to twelve months ago

According to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, the number of employed people was 96,000 lower in May 2020 than one year ago. There were 46,000 more unemployed than in May 2019. The number of persons in disguised unemployment in the inactive population was 67,000 higher than one year earlier. The trend of the employment rate was 72.6 per cent and the trend of the unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent.

Employment rate and trend of employment rate 2010/05–2020/05, persons aged 15–64

Employment rate and trend of employment rate 2010/05–2020/05, 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. Due to the coronavirus, much untypical variation is expected in the time series in spring and summer 2020. This may be reflected in bigger revisions to seasonally adjusted figures than usual. 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 72.6 per cent in May and the trend of the unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent.

In May 2020, the number of employed persons was 2,491,000 (margin of error ±36,000), which was 96,000 lower than a year earlier. There were 46,000 fewer employed men and 50,000 fewer employed women than in May 2019.

In May 2020, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 70.4 per cent, having been 73.1 per cent one year earlier. From the previous year’s May, the employment rate of men aged 15 to 64 fell by 2.8 percentage points to 71.5 per cent and that of women by 2.5 percentage points to 69.3 per cent.

According to Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey, there were 295,000 unemployed (margin of error ±24,000) in May 2020, i.e. 46,000 more than one year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 159,000 and that of women 137,000.

The unemployment rate was 10.6 per cent in May, having been 8.8 per cent in the year before. From last year’s May, men’s unemployment rate rose by 1.9 percentage points to 10.9 per cent and women’s by 1.8 percentage points to 10.3 per cent.

In May, there were a total of 608,000 young people aged 15 to 24 . Of them, 220,000 were employed and 140,000 unemployed. Thus, the number of young people in the active population, i.e. the employed and unemployed in total, was 360,000. In May, the unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24, that is, the proportion of the unemployed among the labour force, stood at 39.0 per cent, which was 9.5 percentage points higher than one year previously. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 18.4 per cent. The share of unemployed young people aged 15 to 24 among the population in the same age group was 23.1 per cent.

There were 1,348,000 persons in the inactive population in May 2020, which was 59,000 more than one year earlier. Of the inactive population, 162,000 persons were in disguised unemployment , which was 67,000 more than in May 2019.

Changes in employment 2019/05 – 2020/05 according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, population aged 15 to 74

  Year/Month Change
2019/05 2020/05 2019/05 - 2020/05
1000 persons Per cent, %
Population total 4 125 4 134 0,2
Active population total 2 835 2 786 –1,7
Employed 2 587 2 491 –3,7
– employees 2 243 2 153 –4,0
– self-employed persons and unpaid family workers 344 338 –1,8
Unemployed 249 295 18,7
Inactive population 1 289 1 348 4,6
– persons in disguised unemployment 95 162 71,2
  Per cent, % Percentage points
Employment rate, persons aged 15–64 73,1 70,4 –2,7
Unemployment rate 8,8 10,6 1,8
Activity rate 68,7 67,4 –1,3
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 May 2020, there were altogether 433,000 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 206,000 higher than in May last year.

Unemployment rose in May from the corresponding period last year in the areas of all Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment: most in Uusimaa (118%), Ostrobothnia (109%) and South Ostrobothnia (103%). The number of unemployed job seekers grew least in Kainuu (53%), North Karelia (53%), Southeast Finland (63%), Central Finland (65%) and South Savo (66%). At the end of May, the number of fully laid off persons registered at the employment and economic development offices was 158,000, which was 150,000 more than twelve months earlier.

The number of persons engaged in services included in the activation rate totalled 106,000 at the end of May, which was 18,000 fewer than in May of the year before. Altogether, 3.8 per cent of the labour force was covered by labour market policy services.

There were 56,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment and economic development offices. Their number was 28,000 higher than in last year's May. During May, 45,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment and economic development offices, which was 21,000 fewer than in May 2019.

Changes 2019/05–2020/05 according to the Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

  Year/Month Change
2019/05 2020/05 2019/05 - 2020/05
1000 persons Per cent, %
Unemployed job seekers 227 433 91,0
– unemployed over a year 62 70 11,8
Services, total 124 106 –14,6
– employed 25 21 –15,6
– in labour market training, in training 22 24 6,6
– engaged in work/training trials 10 5 –52,3
– as a job alternation substitute, in rehabilitative work, self-motivated studies supported by unemployment benefit 66 56 –15,9
New vacancies at employment and economic development offices 66 45 –31,6
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

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, May. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kirsi Toivonen 029 551 3535, Tatu Leskinen 029 551 3285, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (450.5 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Figures
Quality descriptions

Updated 24.6.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. May 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 4.7.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2020/05/tyti_2020_05_2020-06-24_tie_001_en.html