Press release 21.11.2006

Employment and unemployment in October 2006

- Number of employed persons nearly the same as one year before
- Employment rate 67.8 per cent
- Unemployment rate 7.2 per cent, 187,000 unemployed
- 35,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to October 2006, average number of employed 40,000 higher than during the same period of 2005

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employedpersons in October was 2,412,000, or 8,000 higher than a year earlier. This change is within the margin of error. The number of wage and salary earners grew and the number of entrepreneurs fell slightly. There were 25,000 more wage and salary earners in continuing full-time employment. The number of wage and salary earners in part-time employment increased by 17,000. The number of employed persons grew in Western Finland and fell in Eastern Finland.

In October, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 67.8 per cent, which was almost the same as one year before. The employment rate for women rose by 0.6 percentage points to 66.5 per cent, and the employment rate for men diminished by 0.7 to 69.1 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 68.9 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 10/2005 - 10/2006, thousand persons

  October 2006 October 2005 CHANGE, %
10/05 - 10/06
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed total 2 412 2 404 0.3
 - wage and salary earners 2 116 2 093 1.1
 - self-employed and assisting family members 296 311 -5.0
 Employment rate, % 67.8 67.9 -0.12
 Unemployed 1 187 185 0.8
 Unemployment rate, % 7.2 7.2 0.02
 Labour force, total 2 598 2 589 0.4
 Labour force participation rate, % 65.5 65.5 0.02
 Economically inactive, total 1 370 1 363 0.5
 - students 391 387 1.1
 - persons performing domestic work 87 96 -9.2
 Economically inactive persons in disguised  unemployment 110 97 13.8
 
 Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
 Unemployed job seekers 227 258 -11.9
 - unemployed over a year 60 70 -13.9
 Employed with subsidised measures 40 38 3.9
 In labour market training 34 33 3.7
 In trainee and job alternation places 19 19 5.2
 New vacancies at labour exchange offices 35 26 33.7
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 Due to rounding the year-on-year changes in the table do not always match with the figure in the text
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation
2percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 187,000 unemployedin October, i.e. almost as many as in October 2005. At 7.2 per cent the unemployment rate was the same as one year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 7.9 per cent in October.

In October 2006, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 16.9 per cent, which was 3.4 percentage points higher than in October of the year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the rate of unemployment for young people was 19.2 per cent. The unemployment rate fell in Western Finland and rose in Eastern Finland. The unemployment rate was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, where it stood at 6.1 per cent, and highest in the provinces of Eastern Finland (10.7 per cent), and Lapland (10.6 per cent).

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to October 2006period was 2,442,000, which is 40,000 more than over the corresponding period in the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 211,000, or 12,000 fewer than in the January to October period of 2005.

At end-October 2006, there were altogether 227,000 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 31,000 lower than in October 2005. Unemployment fell from the previous year in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres. The number of those covered by employment policy measures was 4,000 higher than in October the year before, and was 3.6 per cent of the labour force. There were 23,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in last year's October. During this October, 35,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 9,000 more than in October 2005.

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 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. For example, the 95 per cent confidence interval, or margin of error, for the unemployment rate in October is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed persons in October is approximately ± 15,000 persons.

Inquiries:

Statistics Finland: Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434

E-mail: tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi; Internet: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/index_en.html

Ministry of Labour: Mr Petri Syvänen +358 10 60 48050, Internet: http://www.mol.fi/employmentbulletin

Latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU