Press release 21.6.2005

Employment and unemployment in May 2005

- Number of employed persons 39,000 higher than one year ago
- Employment rate 68.5 per cent
- Number of unemployed 39,000 lower than one year before
- Rate of unemployment 10.2 per cent, 274,000 unemployed
- 36,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to May 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 39,000 higher than one year previously. The number of both wage earners and self-employed persons grew. The number of part-time and/or fixed-term employment contracts was 24,000 higher than in the previous year's May. Employment increased in agriculture, trade, business and social services, and in the group of other services, for example. Jobs decreased in the group of other manufacturing, civil engineering, wholesale trade and public administration. Employment increased in all provinces except in the Province of Lapland, where the number of jobs fell.

In May, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 68.5 per cent, which was 0.8 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for women rose by 1.0 percentage points to 67.3 per cent and that of men by 0.6 percentage points at 69.8 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 68.1 per cent in May.

Changes in the labour force 5/2004 - 5/2005, thousand persons

May 2005 May 2004 Change, %
5/04 - 5/05
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 416 2 377 1.6
- wage and salary earners 2 114 2 097 0.8
- self-employed and assisting family members 303 280 8.0
Employment rate, % 68.5 67.7 0.8 2
Unemployed 1 274 313 -12.6
Unemployment rate, % 10.2 11.6 -1.4 2
Labour force, total 2 690 2 691 -0.0
Labour force participation rate 68.2 68.4 -0.2 2
Economically inactive, total 1 256 1 241 1.2
- students 268 252 6.2
- persons performing domestic work 92 98 -6.0
Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 111 97 13.8
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 260 283 -8.2
- unemployed over a year 72 72 0.5
Employed with subsidised measures 38 38 -0.7
In labour market training 30 32 -5.7
In trainee and job alternation places 23 20 11.4
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 36 31 13.0
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 274,000 unemployed in May, which is 39,000 fewer than in the previous year. The unemployment figures of the Labour Force Survey in May are higher than in April especially due to the fact that students have entered the labour market but many of them have not found a job yet. In all, 117,000 of the unemployed reported studying as their main type of activity. One year earlier their number was 129,000.

The rate of unemployment was 10.2 per cent, against 11.6 per cent one year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 8.0 per cent in May, while it was 8.2 per cent in April. The unemployment rate for women was to 10.4 per cent and that for men 10.0 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 32.8 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate for young people was 20.0 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 8.0 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 20.2 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, in the January to May period of 2005 the average number of employed persons was 2,353,000, which is 38,000 higher than in the corresponding period of the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 248,000, that is, 12,000 lower than in the January to May period of 2004.

At the end of May 2005, there were altogether 260,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as unemployed job seekers at the labour exchange offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 23,000 lower than in May 2004. Compared with the year before, unemployment fell in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres. The number of those covered by employment policy measures was unchanged from May 2004, being 3.3 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 11,000 lower than in May 2004. During May, 36,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 4,000 more than in last year's May.

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; Internet: http://www.mol.fi/katsaukset
Latest seasonally adjusted unemployment figures published by the EU