Press release 20.6.2006

Employment and unemployment in May 2006

- Number of employed persons 23,000 higher than one year ago
- Employment rate 68.7 per cent
- Number of unemployed nearly the same as one year ago
- Rate of unemployment 10.1 per cent, 275,000 unemployed
- 44,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- 40,000 more employed in the January to May period of 2006 than in the corresponding period of the year before

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons was 2,439,000 in May, or 23,000 higher than one year previously. The number of wage earners fell, but that of self-employed persons went up. Jobs increased most in the Provinces of Southern Finland, Western Finland and Lapland.

In May, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 68.7 per cent, which is 0.2 percentage points higher than twelve months before. The employment rate of men rose by 0.7 percentage points to 70.5 per cent while that of women fell by 0.5 percentage points to 66.8 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 5/2005 - 5/2006, thousand persons

  May 2006 May 2005 CHANGE, %
5/05 - 5/06
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed total 2 439 2 416 0.9
- wage and salary earners 2 106 2 114 -0.4
- self-employed and assisting family members 333 303 10.0
Employment rate, % 68.7 68.5 0.2
Unemployed1 275 274 0.4
Unemployment rate, % 10.1 10.2 -0.1
Labour force, total 2 714 2 690 0.9
Labour force participation rate, % 68.5 68.2 0.3
Economically inactive, total 1 247 1 256 -0.7
- students 263 268 -2.0
- persons performing domestic work 100 92 8.9
Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 108 111 -2.6
 
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 235 260 -9.5
- unemployed over a year 65 72 -9.3
Employed with subsidised measures 40 42 -4.5
In labour market training 30 30 0.8
In trainee and job alternation places 19 18 7.3
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 44 36 24.4
Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
Due to rounding, annual change figures in the table do not always match those in the text.
1 Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 275,000 unemployed in May, or the same number as one year previously. The unemployment figures of the Labour force Survey are higher in May than in April especially because students have entered the labour market but many of them have not yet found a job. Of the unemployed persons, 119,000 were full-time students, that is, around the same number as one year earlier.

The rate of unemployment was 10.1 per cent, having been 10.2 per cent twelve months earlier. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate in May was 7.6 per cent. The unemployment rate of men remained on level with the previous year, at 10.0 per cent, while that of women fell by 0.1 percentage point and stood at 10.3 per cent. The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 33.4 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate among young people was 19.0 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, 8.5 per cent, and highest in the Province of Oulu at 15.9 per cent.

According to the Labour Force survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to May period of 2006 was 2,393,000, or 40,000 higher than in the same time period of the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 231,000, or 17,000 lower that in January-May 2005.

At the end of May 2006, there were altogether 235,000 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 25,000 lower than in May 2005. Unemployment fell from the previous year in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres. The number of persons covered by employment policy measures was almost the same as in May 2005, at 3.3 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 May 2005. During this May, 44,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 9,000 more than in last year's May.

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 ± 18,000 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
Email: tyovoima.tilastokeskus@stat.fi; Internet: 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