Press release 21.10.2008

Employment and unemployment in September 2008

- Number of employed persons 39,000 higher than in September of the year before
- Employment rate 70.0 per cent
- Unemployment rate 5.9 per cent, 158,000 unemployed
- 45,000 new vacancies at employment offices
- Employment increased in the third quarter of the year by an average of 25,000 persons, while in the two preceding quarters the increase averaged 54,000 persons

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in September was 2,511,000, or 39,000 higher than a year earlier. The number of employed persons increased in both the private and the public sector. The number of employed persons stayed level in the Province of Oulu and increased slightly in the other provinces. The number of both self-employed persons and wage and salary earners grew.

In September, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 70.0 per cent, which was 0.7 percentage points higher than one year before. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate was 70.5 per cent. The employment rate of men was 71.8 per cent and that of women 68.1 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 9/2007 - 9/2008, thousand persons

  September 2008 September 2007 CHANGE, %
9/07 - 9/08
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed total 2 511 2 472 1.6
- wage and salary earners 2 179 2 158 1.0
- self-employed and assisting family members 332 314 5.7
 Employment rate, % 70.0 69.3 0.72
 Unemployed 1 158 168 -5.9
 Unemployment rate, % 5.9 6.4 -0.42
 Labour force total 2 670 2 640 1.1
 Labour force participation rate, % 66.6 66.3 0.32
 Economically inactive total 1 339 1 345 -0.4
       
 Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy
 Unemployed job seekers 188 198 -5.1
 - unemployed over a year 42 49 -14.8
 Total measures 84 86 -2.0
 - employed with subsidised measures 38 38 1.0
 - in labour market training 29 31 -5.7
 - in trainee and job alternation places 17 18 -2.2
 New vacancies at employment offices 45 43 4.0
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column.
 1 Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation.
2 percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 158,000 unemployed in September 2008, i.e. 10,000 fewer than in September of the year before. This change is within the margin of error for the number of unemployed persons. At 5.9 per cent the unemployment rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than one year earlier (the change is calculated using unrounded figures). The trend of the unemployment rate was 6.5 per cent in September.

The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Western Finland, where it stood at 5.3 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 9.5 per cent. In September 2008 the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to -24 was 12.6 per cent, which was 0.6 percentage points lower than in the previous year's September. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 16.6 per cent.

In the third quarter of the year(July-September), the average number of employed persons was 2,566,000 persons, or 25,000 higher than in the third quarter of 2007. The growth in the number of the employed waned from the first half of the year, as in January-June their number increased by an average of 54,000 persons. Of all industries employment increased most in social work as well as in hotels and restaurants. The number of unemployed persons averaged 151,000 in the third quarter, which is 13,000 fewer than in the July to September period of 2007. Unemployment decreased by an average of 15,000 persons during the two first quarters of the year.

In the January to September of 2008, the average number of employed persons was 2,538,000 persons, or 44,000 higher than in the respective period of 2007.The number of unemployed persons was 176,000, which is 14,000 fewer than in the January to September period of 2007.

At the end of September 2008, there were altogether 188,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as unemployed job seekers at the employment offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 10,000 lower than in September 2007. Unemployment fell from the previous year in the areas of all other Employment and Economic Development Centres apart from the EEDC of North Ostrobothnia. The number of persons covered by labour market policy measures totalled 84,000 the end of September, which was 2,000 fewer than in September of the year before. A total of 3.2 per cent of the labour force were covered by labour market policy measures. There were 20,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment offices. Their number was the same as in last year's September. During September, 45,000 new vacancies were reported to the employment offices, which is 2,000 more than in September 2007.

Differences between the Labour Force Survey and the Employment Service Statistics

The employment situation is monitored monthly both with the sample-based Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland and with the register-based Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The Employment Service 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 Employment Service Statistics are based on legislation and administrative regulations.

The Labour Force Survey and the Employment Service 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. For example, the 95 per cent confidence interval, or margin of error, for the unemployment rate in September is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed persons in September is approximately ± 14,000 persons.

Inquiries: Statistics Finland: Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524, Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225,
Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523.
Information Service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030, Email: tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi
Internet: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/index_en.html

Ministry of Employment and the Economy: Mr Petri Syvänen +358 10 604 8050,
http://www.tem.fi/employmentbulletin

Latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU

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