Press release 20.9.2005

Employment and unemployment in August 2005

- Number of employed persons 20,000 higher than one year before
- Employment rate 69.0 per cent
- Number of unemployed 21,000 lower than one year before
- Rate of unemployment 7.2 per cent, 188,000 unemployed
- 36,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons was 20,000 higher than one year before. The number of self-employed persons grew but that of wage earners remained unchanged. The number of wage earners in full-time employment rose by 33,000. The number of part and/or fixed-term employment relationships was 32,000 lower than in August 2004. In the private sector employment increased while in the public sector the number of jobs decreased. Employment increased in business services, social services, construction and trade, for example. Jobs decreased in manufacturing, education and public administration. Employment increased in the Province of Western Finland and decreased in the Province of Lapland.

In August, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 69.0 per cent, which was 0.2 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for women rose by 1.3 percentage points to 67.7 per cent. The employment rate for men fell by 0.8 percentage points and was 70.3 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 67.5 per cent in August.

Changes in the labour force 8/2004 - 8/2005, thousand persons

  August 2005 August 2004 Change, %
8/04 - 8/05
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed total 2 437 2 417 0.8
 - wage and salary earners 2 128 2 128 0.0
 - self-employed and assisting family members 308 289 6.6
 Employment rate, % 69.0 68.8 0.2 2
 Unemployed 1 188 209 -9.9
 Unemployment rate, % 7.2 8.0 -0.8 2
 Labour force, total 2 625 2 626 -0.0
 Labour force participation rate 66.5 66.7 -0.2 2
 Economically inactive, total 1 324 1 310 1.1
 - students 324 319 1.5
 - persons performing domestic work 84 88 -4.1
 Economically inactive persons in disguised  unemployment 88 102 -13.7
 
 Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
 Unemployed job seekers 269 281 -4.1
 - unemployed over a year 73 74 -1.6
 Employed with subsidised measures 34 37 -6.6
 In labour market training 23 25 -5.4
 In trainee and job alternation places 20 20 2.1
 New vacancies at labour exchange offices 36 28 29.7
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 1 Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 188,000 unemployed in August, which is 21,000 fewer than in the previous year. The rate of unemployment was 7.2 per cent, against 8.0 per cent one year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in August.

The unemployment rate for women fell by 1.2 percentage points to 7.4 per cent and that for men by 0.5 percentage points and was 6.9 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 13.9 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate for young people was 20.4 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 5.9 per cent, and highest in the Province of Oulu, at 10.8 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, in the January to August period of 2005 the average number of employed persons was 2,402,000, which is 32,000 higher than in the corresponding period of the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 233,000, that is, 12,000 lower than in the January to August period of 2004.

At the end of August 2005, there were altogether 269,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as unemployed job seekers at the labour exchange offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 11,000 lower than in August 2004. Compared with the year before, unemployment fell in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres. The number of those covered by employment policy measures was 3,000 lower than in August 2004, being 3.0 per cent of the labour force. There were 32,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in August 2004. During August, 36,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 8,000 more than in last year's August.

Differences between the Labour Force Survey and the Labour Exchange Statistics

The employment situation is monitored monthly both with the sample-based Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland and with the register-based Labour Exchange Statistics of the Ministry of Labour. The Labour Exchange Statistics describe the situation on the last weekday of the month. The data for the Labour Force Survey are collected for every week of the month.

The Labour Force Survey follows the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the practices required by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. According to them, a person is classified as unemployed if he or she is aged 15 or over, does not have a job, has actively sought employment in the past four weeks and would be available for work within two weeks. The Labour Exchange Statistics are based on legislation and administrative regulations.

The Labour Force Survey and the Labour Exchange Statistics apply two basically different statistical criteria to how actively a person seeks work and makes him/herself available on the labour market. Due to the statistical differences, the number of unemployed job seekers may not agree with the number of unemployed calculated in accordance with the ILO recommendations.

Since the Labour Force Survey is a sample survey, its data allow for random variation. In respect of the unemployment rate, for example, the 95 per cent confidence interval or the margin of error is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed is approximately ± 14,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524,Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434;
Email: tyovoima.tilastokeskus@stat.fi;
Ministry of Labour: Mr Oiva Lönnberg +358 10 60 48048; Internet: http://www.mol.fi/employmentbulletin
Latest seasonally adjusted unemployment figures published by the EU