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Published: 21 October 2008

Growth in the number of the employed slowed down in the third quarter

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in September was 2 511 000, or 39 000 higher than a year earlier. The number of employed persons increased in both the private and the public sector. The number of employed persons stayed level in the Province of Oulu and increased slightly in the other provinces. The number of both self-employed persons and wage and salary earners grew.

In September, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 70,0 per cent, which was 0,7 percentage points higher than one year before. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 70,5 per cent. The employment rate of men was 71,8 per cent and that of women 68,1 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 158 000 unemployed in September 2008, i.e. 10 000 fewer than in September of the year before. This change is within the margin of error for the number of unemployed persons. At 5,9 per cent the unemployment rate was 0,4 percentage points lower than one year earlier (the change is calculated using unrounded figures). The trend of the unemployment rate was 6,5 per cent in September.

The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Western Finland, where it stood at 5,3 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 9,5 per cent. In September 2008 the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 12,6 per cent, which was 0.6 percentage points lower than in the previous year’s September. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 16,6 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 2008/09– 2007/09, thousand persons

  2008/09 2007/09 Change, %
2008/09 - 2007/09
Employed 2 511 2 472 1,6
Unemployed 158 168 -5,9
Labour force 2 670 2 640 1,1
Total persons not in labour force 1 339 1 345 -0,4
      Percentage points
Employment rate, % 70,0 69,3 0,7
Unemployment rate, % 5,9 6,4 -0,4
Labour force participation rate, % 66,6 66,3 0,3
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data are collected according to the ILO/EU definition.

In the third quarter of the year (July-September), the average number of employed persons was 2 566 000 persons, or 25 000 higher than in the third quarter of 2007. The growth in the number of the employed waned from the first half of the year, as in January-June their number increased by an average of 54 000 persons. Of all industries employment increased most in social work as well as in hotels and restaurants. The number of unemployed persons averaged 151 000 in the third quarter, which is 13 000 fewer than in the July to September period of 2007. Unemployment decreased by an average of 15 000 persons during the two first quarters of the year.

In the January to September of 2008 , the average number of employed persons was 2 538 000 persons, or 44 000 higher than in the respective period of 2007. The number of unemployed persons was 176 000, which is 14 000 fewer than in the January to September period of 2007.

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

Source: Labour force survey 2008, September. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kalle Sinivuori (09) 1734 3524, Juha Martikainen (09) 1734 3225, Veli Rajaniemi (09) 1734 3434, Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela (09) 1734 2523,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 21.10.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. September 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.9.2023].
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