Press release 22.2.2005

Employment and unemployment in January 2005

- Number of employed persons 18,000 higher than one year ago
- Employment rate 65.3 per cent
- Number of unemployed 8,000 higher than one year before
- Rate of unemployment 9.8 per cent, 249,000 unemployed
- 38,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons was 18,000 higher than one year previously. The number of wage earners grew, while that of self-employed persons remained unchanged. In the private sector employment increased, while in the public sector the number of jobs declined. Compared with last year's January, employment decreased in manufacturing and agriculture. Jobs increased in trade, transport and business and other services. Employment increased in the Provinces of Western Finland and Oulu and decreased in the Province of Lapland.

In January, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 65.3 per cent, which was 0.4 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for women rose by 0.5 percentage points to 64.5 per cent and that of men remained unchanged at 66.0 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 67.4 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 1/2004 - 1/2005, thousand persons

January 2005 January 2004 Change, %
1/04 - 1/05
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 299 2 281 0.8
- wage and salary earners 1 995 1 977 0.9
- self-employed and assisting family members 304 304 0.0
Employment rate, % 65.3 64.9 0.4 2
Unemployed 1 249 241 3.2
Unemployment rate, % 9.8 9.5 0.3 2
Labour force, total 2 547 2 521 1.0
Labour force participation rate 64.6 64.1 0.5 2
Economically inactive, total 1 394 1 410 -1.1
- students 394 389 1.3
- persons performing domestic work 93 96 -2.8
Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 96 96 0.9
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 299 307 -2.7
- unemployed over a year 75 73 2.9
Employed with subsidised measures 34 35 -1.7
In labour market training 31 31 1.7
In trainee and job alternation places 20 19 3.6
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 38 30 27.3
Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
1 Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
2 percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 249,000 unemployed in January, which is 8,000 more than in the previous year. The change is within the margin of error (± 16 000). The rate of unemployment was 9.8 per cent, against 9.5 per cent one year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 8.9 per cent.

The unemployment rate for women rose by 0.8 percentage points to 9.6 per cent. The unemployment rate for men fell by 0.4 percentage points to 9.9 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 22.4 per cent, while it was 22.8 per cent in the previous year's January. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate for young people was 20.7 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 8.5 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 14.0 per cent. Among all branches of industry the rate of unemployment was highest in construction, 10.7 per cent.

At the end of January 2005, there were altogether 299,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as job seekers at the labour exchange offices. The number of job seekers was 8,000 lower than in January 2004. Compared with the year before, unemployment fell elsewhere in the country but in the area of the Employment and Economic Development Centre of Lapland. The number of those covered by employment policy measures was 1,000 higher than in January 2004, being 3.4 per cent of the labour force. There were 34,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 3,000 lower than in January 2004. During January, 38,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 8,000 more than in last year's January.

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 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. In respect of the unemployment rate, for example, the 95 per cent confidence interval or the margin of error is about ± 0.6 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed is approximately ± 16,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Pekka Tossavainen +358 9 1734 3517, Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524,
Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434;
Email: tyovoima.tilastokeskus@stat.fi;
Ministry of Labour: Mr Oiva Lönnberg +358 10 60 48048;
Latest seasonally adjusted unemployment figures published by the EU at:
http://epp.eurostat.cec.eu.int/portal/page?_pageid=0,1136184&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL