Press release 21.2.2006

Employment and unemployment in January 2006

- Number of employed persons 54,000 higher than one year before
- Employment rate 66.6 per cent
- Number of unemployed 23,000 lower than one year ago
- Rate of unemployment 8.7 per cent, 226,000 unemployed
- 48,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons was 2,353,000, i.e. 54,000 higher than one year before. The number of both wage earners and self-employed persons grew. Employment increased in manufacturing, construction, transport and social services. Jobs decreased in trade, education and financial intermediation. Employment increased in all provinces, most in the Provinces of Southern, Western and Eastern Finland. Job decreased in the Provinces of Oulu and Lapland.

In January, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 66.6 per cent, which was 1.3 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for men rose by 1.5 percentage points to 67.5 per cent. The unemployment rate for women went up by 1.1 percentage points and was 65.3 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 68.7 per cent in January.

Changes in the labour force 1/2005 - 1/2006, thousand persons

  January 2006 January 2005 Change, %
1/05 - 1/06
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 353 2 299 2.3
- wage and salary earners 2 034 1 995 2.0
- self-employed and assisting family members 318 304 4.8
Employment rate, % 66.6 65.3 1.3 2
Unemployed 1 226 249 -9.3
Unemployment rate, % 8.7 9.8 -1.1 2
Labour force, total 2 578 2 547 1.2
Labour force participation rate 65.2 64.6 0.6 2
Economically inactive, total 1 377 1 394 -1.2
- students 372 394 -5.4
- persons performing domestic work 87 93 -6.6
Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 114 96 18.3
 
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 280 299 -6.3
- unemployed over a year 71 75 -4.8
Employed with subsidised measures 36 38 5.8
In labour market training 28 31 -8.5
In trainee and job alternation places 17 16 4.4
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 48 38 27.4
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, the number of unemployed persons was 226,000 in January, which is 23,000 fewer than one year before. The rate of unemployment was 8.7 per cent, while it was 9.8 per cent one year earlier. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent in January.

The unemployment rate for men fell by 1.3 percentage points to 8.6 per cent. The unemployment rate for women declined by 0.7 per cent and was 8.9 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 20.5 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate for young people was 19.7 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 6.8 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 18.3 per cent.

At the end of January 2006, there were altogether 280,000 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 19,000 lower than in January 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 4,000 lower than in January 2005, being 3.1 per cent of the labour force. There were 30,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in January 2005. During January, 48,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 10,000 more than in last year's January.

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 ± 0.6 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed is approximately ± 16,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434; Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225
Information service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030;
tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi
Homepage of the Labour Force Survey:
http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/index_en.html

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

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