Press release 18.9.2007

Employment and unemployment in August 2007

- Number of employed persons 52,000 higher than one year earlier
- Employment rate 71.5 per cent
- Unemployment rate 5.9 per cent, 162,000 unemployed
- 49,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to August 2007, average number of employed 51,000 higher than one year earlier

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in August was 2,558,000, or 52,000 higher than a year earlier. Employment increased in the private sector and decreased in the public sector. The share of wage and salary earners in continuous full-time employment was 74.1 per cent, whereas one year before it was 73.4 per cent. The number of employed persons went up in the provinces of Western Finland and Oulu.

In August, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 71.5 per cent, which was 1.0 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate of men was 74.1 per cent and that of women 69.0 per cent. The seasonally adjusted trend of the employment rate was 70.2 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 8/2006 - 8/2007, thousand persons

  August 2007 August 2006 CHANGE, %
8/06 - 8/07
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed, total 2,558 2,506 2.1
- wage and salary earners 2,227 2,181 2.1
- self-employed and assisting family members 331 325 1.8
Employment rate, % 71.5 70.5 1.02
Unemployed1 162 185 -12.5
Unemployment rate, % 5.9 6.9 -0.92
Labour force, total 2,719 2,691 1.1
Labour force participation rate, % 68.3 67.9 0.42
Economically inactive, total 1,264 1,274 -0.8
- students 287 297 -3.5
- persons performing domestic work 98 98 -0.8
 
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 210 243 -13.5
- unemployed over a year 51 64 -20.7
Employed with subsidised measures 39 39 0.6
In labour market training 25 24 4.1
In trainee and job alternation places 17 17 -0.5
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 49 41 20.7
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation
2percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 162,000 unemployed in August 2007, i.e. 23,000 fewer than in August of the year before. At 5.9 per cent, the unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points lower than one year before. The seasonally adjusted trend of the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent in August.

The unemployment rate was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, where it stood at 4.7 per cent, and highest, at 9.2 per cent, in the Province of Eastern Finland. In August 2007 the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 8.9 per cent, which was 4.5 percentage points lower than in August of the year before. The seasonally adjusted trend of the unemployment rate for young people was 15.8 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to August 2007period was 2,497,000, which is 51,000 more than over the corresponding period in the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 194,000, or 24,000 fewer than in the January to August period of 2006.

At the end of August 2007, there were altogether 210,000 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 33,000 lower than in August 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 1,000 higher than in August of the year before, and was 3.0 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 5,000 lower than in last year's August. During this August, 49,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 8,000 more than in August 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. For example, the 95 per cent confidence interval, or margin of error, for the unemployment rate in August is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed in August is approximately ± 14,000 persons.

Inquiries:
Statistics Finland: Mr Pekka Tossavainen +358 9 1734 3517, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225
Information Service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030; Email: tyovoima.tilastokeskus@stat.fi;
Internet: http://www.stat.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