Press release 20.3.2007

Employment and unemployment in February 2007

- Number of employed persons 25,000 higher than one year earlier
- Employment rate 68.1 per cent
- Number of unemployed persons 22,000 lower than one year earlier
- Unemployment rate 7.5 per cent, 197,000 unemployed
- 59,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in February was 2,420,000, or 25,000 higher than a year earlier. Employment increased in the private sector, but remained unchanged in the public sector. The number of employed persons grew in the provinces of Western Finland and Oulu.

In February, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 68.1 per cent, which was 0.6 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate of men was 69.1 per cent and that of women 67.1 per cent. The trend of the employment rate was 69.5 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 2/2006 - 2/2007, thousand persons

  February 2007 February 2006 CHANGE %
2/06 - 2/07
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed, total 2 420 2 395 1.1
  - wage and salary earners 2 097 2 087 0.5
 - self-employed and assisting family members 323 308 4.8
 Employment rate, % 68.1 67.5 0.62
 Unemployed1 197 219 -10.2
 Unemployment rate, % 7.5 8.4 -0.92
 Labour force, total 2 617 2 614 0.1
 Labour force participation rate, % 65.9 66.1 -0.22
 Economically inactive, total 1 357 1 343 1.0
 - students 378 387 -2.4
 - persons performing domestic work 87 83 4.9
 Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 86 80 7.7
 Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
 Unemployed job seekers 235 271 -13.4
 - unemployed over a year 57 70 -19.3
 Employed with subsidised measures 41 36 12.6
 In labour market training 35 31 11.5
 In trainee and job alternation places 19 18 4.6
 New vacancies at labour exchange offices 59 52 14.5
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 Due to rounding the year-on-year changes in the table do not always match the figures in the text
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation
2percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 197,000 unemployed in February 2007, i.e. 22,000 fewer than in February of the year before. At 7.5 per cent the unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points lower than one year before. The trend of the unemployment rate was 7.0 per cent in February.

The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 6.0 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 14.5 per cent. In February 2007, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 19.5 per cent, which was 3.7 percentage points lower than in the previous year's February. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 17.8 per cent.

At the end of February 2007, 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 36,000 lower than in February 2006. 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 9,000 higher than in February 2006, and was 3.6 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 last year's February. During this February, 59,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 8,000 more than in February 2006.

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 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 of the unemployment rate in February, or the margin of error, is about ± 0.6 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed in February is approximately ± 15,000 persons.


Statistics Finland: Mr Pekka Tossavainen +358 9 1734 3517, Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Email:; Internet:

Ministry of Labour: Mr Oiva Lönnberg +358 10 60 48048, Internet:

Latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU