Concepts




Unemployed


The unemployed labour force includes all persons aged 16 to 64 who were unemployed on the last weekday of the year. Data on unemployment derive from the job seeker register of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.



Statistics using the definition

Validity of the definition

Source organisation

  • Tilastokeskus

In the income distribution statistics, persons who have been unemployed for at least six months during the year are classified as unemployed. Months of unemployment are asked from persons in the interview. Interview months are checked and where needed, corrected on the basis of register data (the Social Insurance Institution's register data on unemployment allowances and times of receipt, the tax register's unemployment allowances).



Statistics using the definition

Validity of the definition

  • Valid until (31 December 2078)

Source organisation

  • Tilastokeskus

A person is unemployed if he/she is without work during the survey week (not in paid employment or working as self-employed), has actively sought employment in the past four weeks as an employee or self-employed and would be available for work within two weeks. A person who is without work and waiting for an agreed job to start within three months is also classified as unemployed if he/she could start work within two weeks. Persons laid off for the time being who fulfil the above-mentioned criteria are also counted as unemployed.



Statistics using the definition

Validity of the definition

  • Valid until (31 December 2078)
  • All persons who for the whole survey week were without work, had been seeking a job actively in the past four weeks as an employee or a self-employed person and could accept a job within two weeks are classified as unemployed. Persons without a job and waiting to start a job within two weeks are also recorded as unemployed. Those who have temporarily been laid off from their work and meet the job seeking and job acceptance criteria are also considered unemployed.



    Statistics using the definition

    Validity of the definition

    • 1 May 1998 - 31 December 2007

    Source organisation

    • Tilastokeskus

    Related concepts

    DEFINITION OF UNEMPLOYED IN 1960 - 1982, 1983 - 1996 and 1997 - 30 April 1998

    In 1960 - 1982
    From 1960 to 1992 the Labour Force Survey was made as a mail inquiry where the respondent self defined his or her activity during the survey week. Questions and their wordings were amended during that time. Instructions for answering were added to the form while at first they were in the target letters. Persons who were without jobs, looking for work and were available for work or waiting for agreed work to start or had been laid off from work were classified as unemployed. There were some specifying instructions but less than in later years.

    In 1983 - 1996
    In 1983 an interview survey was adopted in place of a mail inquiry and at the same time the definition of unemployed and instructions were specified.

    Persons who are without work the whole survey week, have been seeking a job actively in the past four weeks as an employee or a self-employed person and could accept a job within two weeks are classified as unemployed. Persons without a job and waiting to start a job within two weeks (the job has to start in about one month from the survey week) are also recorded as unemployed. The unemployed also include persons who for a part of the survey week were unemployed and for the rest of the week were otherwise engaged, e.g. studying.

    Persons on unemployment pension are counted as unemployed only if seeking work. Instead, those waiting for their unemployment pension decision are included as unemployed as by law they have to be recorded as unemployed job seekers at labour exchange offices. Those who have been laid off are usually counted as unemployed. If the lay-off period has lasted long and the person has not sought employment, he or she is recorded outside the labour force.

    Active job search means looking for work through the labour exchange office, by contacting employers direct, through job advertisements, through friends or by some other means. Valid job search through the labour exchange office is considered active regardless of when the labour exchange office was last contacted.

    Schoolchildren (those in comprehensive school, upper secondary school or vocational school or college) are not recorded as unemployed during term time. However, university students can be considered unemployed during term time. Those in labour market training are not regarded as unemployed but students.

    1997 - 30 April 1998
    All persons who for the whole survey week were without work, had been seeking a job actively in the past four weeks as an employee or a self-employed person and could accept a job within two weeks are classified as unemployed. Persons without a job and waiting to start a job within two weeks are also recorded as unemployed. The unemployed also include persons who for a part of the survey week were unemployed and for the rest of the week were otherwise engaged, e.g. studying. Schoolchildren and students can be classified as unemployed during term time if they meet the criteria for unemployed persons. Persons on unemployment pension or those waiting for their unemployment pension decision are counted as unemployed if they meet the above criteria for unemployed persons. Those who have been laid off are counted as employed.

    Activeness of job search was interpreted in early 1997 more loosely than recommended by the EU and ILO, when it concerned job search through the labour exchange office. From 1 January 1997 to 30 April 1997 visiting the labour exchange office within six months was regarded as active job search. After that the contacting period was tightened to three months (between 1 May 1997 and 30 April 1998). On 1 May 1998 the tight EU and ILO 4-week criterion was adopted for job search for all modes of looking for work.



    Validity of the definition

    • 1 January 1960 - 30 April 1998

    Source organisation

    • Tilastokeskus

    Related concepts

Source organisation

  • Tilastokeskus

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