1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons and employed women and men in 2019 compared to 2014

According to the data of Statistics Finland's employment statistics, the most common occupations at the end of 2019 were shop sales assistants (107,300), health care assistants (75,500) and nurses (71,200). Over the past five years, two occupational groups, general secretaries and transport and storage labourers have dropped from the list of the ten most common occupational groups. Social work associate professionals as well as home-based personal care workers rose to the top ten.

Figure 1. Ten most common occupational groups for employed persons in 2019

Figure 1. Ten most common occupational groups for employed persons in 2019

The most common occupational groups were examined on the 4-digit level of the Classification of Occupations 2010.  1)

In 2019, a total of 33,800 persons worked as general secretaries and the occupational group held position 13, while five years ago, its position was still 8th. At the time, 39,000 persons worked as general secretaries. Around 9,500 of those working as general secretaries in 2014 were no longer employed in 2019 or did not belong to the population.

In 2019, a total of 38,800 persons worked as transport and storage labourers and the occupational group held position 11, while five years ago, its position was still 10th. At the time, 35,200 persons worked as transport and storage labourers. Around 7,200 persons working as transport and storage labourers in 2014 were no longer employed in 2019 or did not belong to the population.

In 2019, women worked most commonly as shop sales assistants (70,600), health care assistants (67,500) and nurses (65,300). Men's most common occupational groups were heavy truck and lorry drivers (41,100), shop sales assistants (36,700) and house builders (35,000).

Shop sales assistants was the only occupational group that was included in the ten most common occupational groups of both women and men in 2019, as in all years in the past five years. The shares of shop sales assistants did not have any changes for women and men either in the period 2014 to 2019. Around 66 per cent of shop sales assistants were women and around 34 per cent men.

1.1 Women’s ten most common occupational groups changed only in positions during 2014 to 2019

The ten most common occupational groups of women and men have not changed much from five years ago. Compared to 2019, among the ten most common occupational groups for employed women in 2014, positions among the top ten varied only.

Table 1. Most common occupational groups in 2019 among employed women of aged 18 to 74 (AML2010 4-digit level)

Occupational group (AML2010 4-digit level) Employed persons Women Of all employed women, % Share of women, % Share of men, %
5223 Shop sales assistants 107 264 70 573 6,0 65,8 34,2
5321 Health care assistants 75 515 67 481 5,7 89,4 10,6
3221 Nursing associate professionals 71 219 65 288 5,5 91,7 8,3
9112 Cleaners and helpers in offices, hotels and other establishments 68 267 56 040 4,7 82,1 17,9
5311 Child care workers 43 527 2 445 0,2 5,6 94,4
3412 Social work associate professionals 42 125 40 166 3,4 95,3 4,7
5322 Home-based personal care workers 41 729 32 965 2,8 79,0 21,0
4120 Secretaries (general) 41 348 26 979 2,3 65,2 34,8
5120 Cooks 41 085 35 998 3,0 87,6 12,4
2341 Primary school teachers 40 331 13 916 1,2 34,5 65,5
Employed persons among the ten most common occupational groups of women 206 618 150 024 3,0 71,9 28,1
Employed persons, total 2 373 526 1 183 554 100,0 50,2 49,8

Nurses rose from the fourth to the third place, and the number of women working as nurses went up by 3,900 employed persons. A total of 65,300 women worked as nurses in 2019. The ranking of home-based personal care workers rose from the sixth to the eighth position. In 2019, the number of women working as home-based personal care workers was 11,800 higher than in 2014 (24,200 persons in 2014). In 2019, a total of 33,000 women worked as social work associate professionals in 2016, which is 10,600 women more than in 2014. Social work associate professionals rose from the seventh to the eighth position.

1.2 Mechanical engineers among ten most common occupational groups for men

In five years, mechanical engineering technicians have dropped from the ten most common occupational groups of men and mechanical engineers have taken their place, in position 10.

In 2019, there were 17,900 men working as mechanical engineers. The number of male mechanical engineers grew by 2,300 compared with 2014.

Table 2. Most common occupational groups in 2019 among employed men of aged 18 to 74 (AML2010 4-digit level)

Occupational group (AML2010 4-digit level) Employed persons Men Of all employed men, % Share of men, % Share of women, %
8332 Heavy truck and lorry drivers 43 527 41 082 15,7 94,4 5,6
7111 House builders 107 264 36 691 38,7 34,2 65,8
5223 Shop sales assistants 37 071 34 959 13,4 94,3 5,7
9333 Freight handlers 38 834 31 244 14,0 80,5 19,5
3322 Commercial sales representatives 40 331 26 415 14,5 65,5 34,5
7231 Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers 28 924 23 611 10,4 81,6 18,4
5153 Building caretakers 23 582 22 508 8,5 95,4 4,6
2512 Software developers 25 978 22 381 9,4 86,2 13,8
7233 Agricultural and industrial machinery mechanics and repairers 21 061 20 503 7,6 97,4 2,6
7115 Carpenters and joiners 19 724 17 913 7,1 90,8 9,2
Employed persons among the ten most common occupational groups of men 386 296 277 307 139,3 71,9 28,1
Employed persons, total 2 373 526 1 189 972 855,9 50,2 49,8

In 2019, the number of men working as mechanical engineering technicians was 13,950, which was 2,300 men lower than in 2014. In 2019, the occupational group was in position 17, while five years ago, its position was the 10th. Around 12,900 of men working as mechanical engineers in 2014 were no longer employed in 2019 or did not belong to the population.


1) The data on occupations remained unknown for 3.8 per cent of all employed persons, for some 3.6 per cent of all employed women and for 4.0 per cent of employed men in 2019.

Source: Employment Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Juho Keva 029 551 3601, info@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 18.11.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Employment [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-6825. Industry, employer sector and jobs 2019, 1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons and employed women and men in 2019 compared to 2014 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.1.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyokay/2019/04/tyokay_2019_04_2021-11-18_kat_001_en.html