Press release 22.8.2006

Employment and unemployment in July 2006

- Number of employed persons 46,000 higher than one year before
- Rate of employment 71.8 per cent
- Number of unemployed 18,000 lower than one year ago
- Rate of unemployment 6.6 per cent, 179,000 unemployed
- 25,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to July 2006, the average number of employed persons 41,000 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 July was 2,540,000, or 46,000 higher than a year earlier. The number of employed women increased by 31,000 and that of employed men by 15,000 from in July 2005. The number of employed persons grew mainly in the Province of Southern Finland.

In April, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 71.8 per cent, which was 1.1 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for women rose by 1.6 percentage points to 69.5 per cent. The employment rate for men rose by 0.6 percentage points to 74.0 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate went up to 68.5 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 7/2005 - 7/2006, thousand persons

  July 2006 July 2005 CHANGE, %
7/05 - 7/06
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed total 2 540 2 494 1.8
 - wage and salary earners 2 224 2 197 1.2
 - self-employed and assisting family members 316 297 6.2
 Employment rate, % 71.8 70.7 1.12
 Unemployed 1 179 197 -9.0
 Unemployment rate, % 6.6 7.3 -0.72
 Labour force, total 2 719 2 691 1.0
 Labour force participation rate, % 68.6 68.1 0.52
 Economically inactive, total 1 245 1 258 -1.0
 - students 207 229 -9.5
 - persons performing domestic work 100 97 3.3
 Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 108 95 13.8
 
 Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
 Unemployed job seekers 272 298 -8.7
 - unemployed over a year 66 74 -10.7
 Employed with subsidised measures 36 37 -1.3
 In labour market training 20 20 0.5
 In trainee and job alternation places 15 14 9.3
 New vacancies at labour exchange offices 25 23 9.1
 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 179,000 unemployed in July, i.e. 18,000 fewer than one year before. The rate of unemployment was 6.6 per cent, having been 7.3 per cent twelve months previously. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 7.7 per cent in July. The unemployment rate for women fell from the previous year's 8.2 to 7.2 per cent. The unemployment rate for men similarly fell from 6.5 to 6.0 per cent. In July the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 10.1 per cent in July, which was 2.2 percentage points lower than in the previous year's July. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the rate of unemployment for young people was 18.3 per cent. The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 5.4 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 14.0 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to July 2006 period was 2,438,000, which is 41,000 more than over the corresponding period of the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 223,000, or 16,000 fewer than in the January to July period of 2005.

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 of the unemployment rate in July or the margin of error is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed in July is approximately ± 14,000 persons.

At the end of July 2006, there were altogether 272,000 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 26,000 lower than in July 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 1,000 higher than in July 2005, and was 2.6 per cent of the labour force. There were 35,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 5,000 lower than in last year's July. During July, 25,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 2,000 more than in July 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.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, 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 employment figures published by the EU