Employment rate drops below 70% as Covid hits the economy | Yle Uutiset

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File photo of TE’s offices in Pasila, Helsinki.

Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva


The number of people with jobs in January this year fell by 61,000 compared to January 2020, according to preliminary figures released by Statistics Finland.

Finland’s employment rate now stands at 69.9%, two percentage points lower than a year ago.

The data agency’s labor force survey also found that the unemployment figure in Finland in January reached 235,000, which is 41,000 more than at the same time last year. The unemployment rate was 1.6 percentage points higher than in January 2020, at 8.7%.

In a press release in response to the latest employment figures, the chief economist of the Finnish Chamber of Commerce Mauri kotamaki called on the government to ease the uncertainty in the Finnish economy created by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The government should urgently provide compensation for losses caused by the coronavirus shutdown in essential industries such as hotels and restaurants. It is up to the government to dispel the uncertainty as much as possible,” Kotamäki wrote.

The ministry publishes different figures

At the same time, a separate set of statistics released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment revealed that there were 332,800 unemployed job seekers registered at TE offices across the country as of late. January.

This figure is 81,200 higher than in January 2020, but it is 24,000 lower than that recorded a month earlier, in December 2020.

The differences between the figures provided by the ministry and those of Statistics Finland can be explained by the way in which the two organizations define an unemployed person.

In the ministry’s definition, an unemployed person is a person who does not have an employment contract or commercial activity. However, according to Statistics Finland’s definition, an unemployed person is anyone who has actively applied for a job in the past month and is ready to receive a job offer within two weeks.

Statistics Finland produces official, internationally comparable unemployment figures for Finland.

Long-term unemployment on the rise

Ministry data further revealed that the number of long-term unemployed increased by around 50% from the previous year, with a total of 93,000 long-term unemployed in January of this year.

“Worst of all, long-term unemployment has increased by more than 30,000 people. This trend is not surprising, but this part of unemployment is most unfortunate in the context of recessions, ”Kotamäki wrote.

Long-term unemployed refer to people who have been unemployed for a year or more.

There were also more than 40,000 unemployed job seekers under the age of 25, an increase of almost 10,000 from the corresponding period last year.


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