Press release 20.5.2008

Employment and unemployment in April 2008

- Number of employed persons 45,000 higher than one year earlier
- Employment rate 70.0 per cent
- Unemployment rate 6.2 per cent, 165,000 unemployed
- 54,000 new vacancies at employment offices
- In the first quarter of 2008, average number of employed persons 55,000 higher than in the respective quarter of 2007

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in April was 2,501,000, or 45,000 higher than a year earlier. The number of wage and salary earners went up and that of self-employed persons stayed nearly unchanged. The number of employed persons went up in the Provinces of Southern Finland and Oulu and fell in the Province of Western Finland.

In April, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 70.0 per cent, which was 0.8 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate of men was 71.5 per cent and that of women 68.5 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 70.6 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 4/2007 - 4/2008, thousand persons

  April 2008 April 2007 CHANGE, %
4/07 - 4/08
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed, total 2 501 2 456 1.9
 - wage and salary earners 2 183 2 141 2.0
 - self-employed and assisting family members 318 315 0.9
 Employment rate, % 70.0 69.2 0.82
 Unemployed1 165 191 -13.6
 Unemployment rate, % 6.2 7.2 -1.02
 Labour force, total 2 666 2 647 0.7
 Labour force participation rate, % 66.7 66.6 0.12
 Economically inactive 1 333 1 330 0.2
       
 Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy
 Unemployed job seekers 192 212 -9.4
 - unemployed over a year 45 54 -16.5
 Employed with subsidised measures 37 41 -10.4
 In labour market training 32 35 -10.2
 In trainee and job alternation places 18 19 -0.7
 New vacancies at employment offices 54 44 21.4
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column.
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation.
2percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 165,000 unemployed in April 2008, i.e. 26,000 fewer than in April of the year before. At 6.2 per cent, the unemployment rate was one percentage point lower than one year earlier. The trend of the unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent in April.

The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, where it stood at 4.7 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 11.1 per cent. In April 2008, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 17.5 per cent, which was 3.0 percentage points lower than in the previous year's April. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 12.9 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to April 2008 period was 2,481,000, which is 55,000 more than over the corresponding period of 2007. The number of unemployed persons was 173,000, which is 23,000 fewer than in the January to April period of 2007.

At the end of April 2008, there were altogether 192,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as unemployed job seekers at the employment offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 20,000 lower than in April 2007. 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 8,000 lower than in April of the year before, and was 3.3 per cent of the labour force. There were 18,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment offices. Their number was 2,000 lower than in last year's April. During April, 54,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment offices, which is 10,000 more than in April 2007.

Differences between the Labour Force Survey and the Employment Service Statistics

The employment situation is monitored monthly both with the sample-based Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland and with the register-based Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The Employment Service 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 Employment Service Statistics are based on legislation and administrative regulations.

The Labour Force Survey and the Employment Service 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. For example, the 95 per cent confidence interval, or the margin of error, for the unemployment rate in April is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed in April is approximately ± 15,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524, Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434. Information service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi
Labour Force Survey home page: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/index_en.html
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Ministry of Employment and the Economy: Mr Petri Syvänen +358 10 60 48050
Internet: http://www.tem.fi/employmentbulletin

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