A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: Labour force survey 2019, August

Published: 24 January 2019

Strong growth in employment continued in December

Corrected on 24 January 2019. The corrected number is indicated in red.

According to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, the number of employed people was 84,000 higher in December 2018 than one year ago. The number of unemployed persons was in December 146,000 and the trend of the unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent. The unemployment rate in the fourth quarter was 6.0 per cent, which was 1.6 percentage points lower than in October to December 2017. In 2018, the rate of employment was 71.7 per cent, having been 69.6 per cent in 2017.

Unemployment rate and trend of unemployment rate 2008/12–2018/12, persons aged 15–74

Unemployment rate and trend of unemployment rate 2008/12–2018/12, persons aged 15–74

Unemployment and employment 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 taken into account when making conclusions. 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 .

In December 2018, the number of employed persons was 2,553,000 (margin of error ±33,000), which was 84,000 more than a year earlier. There were 56,000 more employed men and 28,000 more employed women than in December 2017.

In December, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 72.1 per cent, having been 69.6 per cent one year earlier. From the previous year’s December, the employment rate of men aged 15 to 64 rose by 3.4 percentage points to 73.8 per cent and that of women by 1.5 percentage points to 70.3 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 72.5 per cent.

According to Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey, there were 146,000 unemployed in December 2018 (margin of error ±17,000), i.e. 82,000 fewer than one year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 72,000 and that of women 74,000.

At 5.4 per cent, the unemployment rate was 3.0 percentage points lower in December than one year earlier. The unemployment rate of men decreased by 3.8 percentage points to 5.1 per cent, and that of women by 2.2 percentage points to 5.7 per cent. The trend of the unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent.

In December, there were a total of 617,000 young people aged 15 to 24 . Of them, 246,000 were employed and 25,000 unemployed. The number of young people in the active population, i.e. the employed and unemployed in total, was 271,000. In December, the unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24, that is, the proportion of the unemployed among the labour force, stood at 9.3 per cent, which was 6.2 percentage points lower than one year previously. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 15.9 per cent. The share of unemployed young people aged 15 to 24 among the population in the same age group was 4.1 per cent.

There were 1,429,000 in the inactive population in December 2018, which was 6,000 more than one year earlier. Of the inactive population, 120,000 persons were in disguised unemployment , which was 25,000 fewer than in December 2017.

Changes in employment 2017/12 – 2018/12 according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, population aged 15 to 74

  Year/Month Change
2017/12 2018/12 2017/12 - 2018/12
1000 persons Per cent, %
Population total 4 119 4 127 0,2
Active population total 2 697 2 698 0,1
Employed 2 469 2 553 3,4
– employees 2 157 2 225 3,2
– self-employed persons and unpaid family workers 312 328 5,0
Unemployed 227 146 –36,0
Inactive population 1 423 1 429 0,4
– Persons in disguised unemployment 145 120 –17,4
  Per cent, % Percentage points
Employment rate, persons aged 15–64 69,6 72,1 2,5
Unemployment rate 8,4 5,4 –3,0
Activity rate 65,5 65,4 –0,1
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data comply with the ILO/EU definition.

Labour Force Survey data for the fourth quarter of 2018

The average number of employed persons in the fourth quarter of 2018 (October to December) was 2,541,000, or 55,000 more than in the corresponding quarter of 2017. The number of employed persons increased most in information and communication (J) and in construction (F).

The number of hours worked by employed persons was 2.4 per cent higher in the fourth quarter of 2018 than twelve months previously.

The average number of unemployed persons in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 162,000, which was 43,000 fewer than in the October to December period of 2017. The unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 6.0 per cent, which was 1.6 percentage points lower than in the respective period of 2017.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the number of persons in the inactive population was 1,424,000, which was 4,000 fewer than a year earlier. Of the inactive population, 128,000 persons were in disguised unemployment , which was 14,000 fewer than in the corresponding period of 2017.

Changes in employment 2017/IV – 2018/IV according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, population aged 15 to 74

  Year/Quarter Change
2017/IV 2018/IV 2017/IV - 2018/IV
1000 persons Per cent (%)
Active population total 2 690 2 702 0,4
Employed persons total 2 486 2 541 2,2
Unemployed total 205 162 –21,1
– men 113 89 –20,6
– women 92 72 –21,7
Inactive population 1 429 1 424 –0,3
– Persons in disguised unemployment 142 128 –9,9
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data comply with the ILO/EU definition.

Labour Force Survey annual averages for 2018

In 2018, the average number of employed persons was 2,540,000, which was 67,000 more than in 2017. In 2018, the employment rate was 71.7 per cent, having been 69.6 per cent in 2017.

The rate of unemployment was, on average, 7.4 per cent in 2018, having been 8.6 per cent in 2017. In 2018, the average number of unemployed persons was 202,000, which was 32,000 lower than in the year before.

The number of hours worked by employed persons was 2.3 per cent higher in 2018 than in 2017. The amount of labour input or hours actually worked per employee fell slightly from 2017.

The annual averages from the Labour Force Survey for the year 2018 are published in the appendix tables of this publication and in the database tables of Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey . A general review on annual data concerning 2018 and on time series data for 2009 to 2018 will be released on 11 April 2019.

Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

At the end of December 2018, there were altogether 257,000 persons registered in accordance with the Employment Office Regulations as job seekers at the employment and economic development offices . The number of unemployed job seekers was 39,000 lower than in December 2017.

Unemployment fell in December from the corresponding period in 2017 in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres: most in Pirkanmaa (-21%), Kainuu (-19%), North Ostrobothnia (-16%), North Karelia (-15%) and Ostrobothnia (-15%). At the end of January, the number of fully laid off persons registered at the employment and economic development offices was 15,000, which was 2,000 fewer than twelve months earlier.

The number of persons engaged in services included in the activation rate totalled 116,000 at the end of December, which was 2,000 more than in December of the previous year. Altogether, 4.3 per cent of the labour force was covered by labour market policy services.

There were 33,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment and economic development offices. Their number was 5,000 lower than in last year's December. During last December, 46,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment and economic development offices, which was 6,000 more than in December 2017.

Changes 2017/12–2018/12 according to the Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

  Year/Month Change
2017/12 2018/12 2017/12 - 2018/12
1000 persons Per cent, %
Unemployed job seekers 296 257 –13,2
– unemployed over a year 92 67 –27,1
Services, total 115 116 1,6
– employed 23 24 2,8
– in labour market training, in training 19 20 7,0
– engaged in work/training trials 9 8 –11,1
– as a job alternation substitute, in rehabilitative work, self-motivated studies supported by unemployment benefit 63 64 1,4
New vacancies at employment and economic development offices 40 46 13,9
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,  www.tem.fi/en/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

Latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU can be found on Eurostat's home page, and

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 2018, December. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Taskinen 029 551 2690, Ulla Hannula 029 551 2924, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (748.4 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Figures
Quality descriptions

Updated 24.1.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. December 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 21.10.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2018/12/tyti_2018_12_2019-01-24_tie_001_en.html