Press release 23.5.2006

Employment and unemployment in April 2006

- Number of employed persons 47,000 higher than one year before
- Rate of employment 67.5 per cent
- Number of unemployed 35,000 lower than one year ago
- Rate of unemployment 8.6 per cent, 225,000 unemployed
- 36,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to April 2006, the average number of employed persons 45,000 higher than in the corresponding period of the previous year

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in April was 2,384,000, or 47,000 higher than a year earlier. The number of both wage and salary earners and self-employed grew. The number of employed persons increased in the Provinces of Southern, Western and Eastern Finland.

In April, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 67.5 per cent, which was 1.1 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for men rose by 0.5 percentage points to 67.9 per cent. The employment rate for women went up by 1.7 percentage points and was 67.1 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate rose to 68.8 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 4/2005 - 4/2006, thousand persons

  Apil 2006 Apil 2005 CHANGE, %
4/05 - 4/06
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 384 2 337 2.0
- wage and salary earners 2 066 2 044 1.1
- self-employed and assisting family members 318 292 8.7
Employment rate, % 67.5 66.4 1.12
Unemployed 1 225 260 -13.5
Unemployment rate, % 8.6 10.0 -1.4 2
Labour force, total 2 609 2 596 0.5
Labour force participation rate, % 65.9 65.8 0.1 2
Economically active, total 1 351 1 348 0.2
- students 349 349 -0.0
- persons performing domestic work 91 94 -3.5
Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 86 86 0.1
 
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 248 268 -7.6
- unemployed over a year 67 73 -8.3
Employed with subsidised measures 38 40 -6.1
In labour market training 34 35 -3.1
In trainee and job alteration places 19 18 4.8
New vacacies in at labour exchange offices 36 39 -6.8
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 figures in the text.
1 Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
2 percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 225,000 unemployed in April, i.e. 35,000 fewer than one year before. The rate of unemployment was 8.6 per cent, having been 10.0 per cent twelve months previously. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 7.5 per cent in April. The unemployment rate for men fell by 1.4 percentage points to 9.0 per cent. The unemployment rate for women also declined by 1.4 percentage points and was 8.2 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 26.1 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the rate of unemployment for young people was 18.9 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 6.9 per cent, and highest in the Province of Oulu, at 15.4 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to April 2006 period was 2,382,000, which is 45,000 more than over the corresponding period of the year before. The employment rate went up by 0.9 percentage points and was 67.3 per cent. The average number of unemployed persons was 220,000, or 21,000 fewer than in the January to April period of 2005.

At the end of April 2006, there were altogether 248,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as job seekers at the labour exchange offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 20,000 lower than in April 2005. 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 April 2005, being 3.5 per cent of the labour force. There were 24,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 3,000 lower than in last year's April. During April, 36,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 3,000 fewer than in April 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 does not agree with the number of unemployed calculated in accordance with the ILO recommendations.

In the spring unemployment in the Labour Force Survey rises as a result of students entering the labour market and then unemployment is higher than that reported in the Labour Exchange Statistics.

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 Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225, Information service/Labour Force Survey (09) 1734 2030, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi
Labour Force Survey homepage: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/index_en.html

Ministry of Labour: Mr Oiva Lönnberg +358 10 60 48048, Internet: http://www.mol.fi/tyollisyyskatsaus

Latest seasonally adjusted unemployment figures published by the EU