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Published: 24 June 2008

Employment grew in May 2008

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in May was 2 554 000, or 55 000 higher than a year earlier. The number of wage and salary earners in continuing full-time employment increased by 0,9 percentage points to a total of 75,2 per cent. Employment improved most in the provinces of Western Finland and Oulu.

In May, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 71,3 per cent, which was 1,1 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate of men was 73,4 per cent and that of women 69,1 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 70,7 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 247 000 unemployed in May 2008, i.e. 15 000 more than in May of the year before. The annual change in unemployment is within the survey’s margin of error.

The high number of unemployed in the Labour Force Survey in May is due especially to the fact that students have entered the labour market. In May 2008 over 80 per cent of the unemployed persons aged 15 to 24 were students. A good one-third of the young unemployed were waiting for an agreed job to start and could have started to work within two weeks. This group grew from the previous year.

At 8,8 per cent, the unemployment rate in May was 0,3 percentage points higher than one year earlier. The trend of the unemployment rate was 6,3 per cent in May. The unemployment rate was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, at 7.9 per cent, and highest in the Province of Oulu, at 12.2 per cent. The trend of the unemployment rate of the 15 to 24-year-olds was 15.0 per cent in May. The trend has fallen clearly during the past two years.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to May 2008 period was 2 495 000, which is 55 000 more than over the corresponding period in 2007. The number of unemployed persons was 188 000, which is 15 000 fewer than in the January to May period of 2007.

Changes in the labour force 2008/05– 2007/05, thousand persons

  2008/05 2007/05 Change, %
2008/05 - 2007/05
Employed 2 554 2 499 2,2
Unemployed 247 232 6,5
Labour force 2 800 2 730 2,6
Total persons not in labour force 1 201 1 248 –3,8
      Percentage points
Employment rate, % 71,3 70,2 1,1
Unemployment rate, % 8,8 8,5 0,3
Labour force participation rate, % 70,0 68,6 1,4
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data are collected according to the ILO/EU definition.

Links: Press release connected to this statistical release (inclusive of data of Ministry of Employment and the Economy):

Source: Labour force survey 2008, May. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela (09) 1734 2523, Pekka Tossavainen (09) 1734 3517, Kalle Sinivuori (09) 1734 3524,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 24.6.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. May 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 28.9.2023].
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