Press release 24.5.2005

Employment and unemployment in April 2005

- Number of employed persons 43,000 higher than one year ago
- Employment rate 66.4 per cent
- Number of unemployed 12,000 lower than one year before
- Rate of unemployment 10.0 per cent, 260,000 unemployed
- 39,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to April 2005, the average number of employed persons 38,000 higher than in the previous year's corresponding period

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons was 43,000 higher in April than one year previously. The number of wage earners grew, but that of self-employed persons remained almost unchanged. The proportion of atypical employment relationships increased: there were 24,000 more part-time and/or fixed-term employment contracts than in the previous year. Employment increased in the metal industry, construction, trade, restaurants and hotels, social services and in the group of other services. Jobs decreased in agriculture, forestry, financial intermediation and insurance, public administration and health services. Employment increased in all provinces except in the Province of Lapland, where the number of jobs fell.

In April, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 66.4 per cent, which was 1.1 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for women rose by 0.9 percentage points to 65.4 per cent and that of men by 1.2 percentage points at 67.4 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 68.1 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 4/2004 - 4/2005, thousand persons

April 2005 April 2004 Change, %
4/04 - 4/05
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 337 2 294 1.9
- wage and salary earners 2 044 2 004 2.0
- self-employed and assisting family members 292 290 0.7
Employment rate, % 66.4 65.3 1.1 2
Unemployed 1 260 272 -4.7
Unemployment rate, % 10.0 10.6 -0.6 2
Labour force, total 2 596 2 566 1.2
Labour force participation rate 65.8 65.2 0.6 2
Economically inactive, total 1 348 1 367 -1.4
- students 349 350 -0.2
- persons performing domestic work 94 97 -3.0
Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 86 86 -0.6
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 268 279 -3.8
- unemployed over a year 73 72 1.4
Employed with subsidised measures 36 37 -2.5
In labour market training 35 36 -3.2
In trainee and job alternation places 22 22 2.1
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 39 32 21.7
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 260,000 unemployed in April, which is 12,000 fewer than in the previous year. The rate of unemployment was 10.0 per cent, against 10.6 per cent one year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 8.6 per cent.

The unemployment rate for women was to 9.6 per cent and that for men 10.4 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 29.3 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate for young people was 20.6 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 8.1 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 18.0 per cent. Among all branches of industry the rate of unemployment was highest in construction, 9.7 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, in the January to April period of 2005 the average number of employed persons was 2,337,000, which is 38,000 higher than in the corresponding period of the year before. The rate of employment rose by 1.0 percentage points and was 66.4 per cent. The average number of unemployed persons was 241,000, that is, 5,000 lower than in the January to April period of 2004.

At the end of April 2005, there were altogether 268,000 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 10,000 lower than in April 2004. Compared with the year before, unemployment fell in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres but that of Lapland. The number of those covered by employment policy measures was 2,000 lower in April 2004, being 3.6 per cent of the labour force. There were 27,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in April 2004. During April, 39,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 7,000 more than in last year's April.

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 ± 17,000 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