A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: Labour force survey 2019, January

Published: 28 April 2009

Unemployment increased in March

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in March 2009 was 2 448 000, or 28 000 lower than a year earlier. The number of employees decreased, whereas that of self-employed persons now grew for the seventh successive month already. The number of employed persons decreased especially in the provinces of Western Finland and Oulu.

In March 2009, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 68,1 per cent, or 0,9 percentage points lower than one year before. Adjusted for seasonal and random variation, the trend of the employment rate fell to 69,6 per cent. The employment rate for men fell by 2,2 percentage points from last year’s March to 67,6 per cent. The employment rate for women went up by 0,4 percentage points and was 68,6 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 2009/03 – 2008/03 according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey

  Year/Month Change
2009/03 2008/03 2009/03 - 2008/03
1000 persons Per cent (%)
Population aged 15-74 4 019 3 997 0,5
Labour force, total 2 670 2 655 0,5
Employed, total 2 448 2 475 –1,1
– employees 2 105 2 154 –2,3
– self-employed persons and unpaid family workers 342 321 6,6
Unemployed persons 222 180 23,7
Total persons not in labour force 1 349 1 342 0,5
  Per cent (%) Percentage points
Employment rate (persons aged 15 to 64), % 68,1 69,0 –0,9
Unemployment rate, % 8,3 6,8 1,6
Labour force participation rate, % 66,4 66,4 0,0
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data comply with the ILO/EU definition.

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 222 000 unemployed in March 2009, i.e. 42 000 more than in March of the year before. The number of unemployed men grew by 34 000 and that of unemployed women by 8 000.

At 8,3 per cent, the unemployment rate was 1,6 percentage points higher in March than one year earlier. The trend of the unemployment rate rose to 7,6 per cent in March. The unemployment rate for men rose by 2,5 percentage points to 9,7 per cent, and that for women by 0,5 percentage points to 6,9 per cent. In March 2009, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 21,6 per cent, which was 4,6 percentage points higher than in March of the year before. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people rose to 17,5 per cent. The unemployment rate was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, where it stood at 6,2 per cent, and highest, or 13,1 per cent, in the Province of Eastern Finland.

The number of persons not in the labour force was 7 000 higher in March than twelve months earlier.

Labour Force Survey data for the first quarter

Average employment and unemployment figures describing the first quarter of 2009 are presented below. These figures are more accurate than the monthly data as they are based on a sample for three months. The quarterly data allow the presentation of more detailed data by e.g. industry or region and on the number of laid off persons, for which the monthly sample is not sufficiently large.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons during the first quarter of 2009 was 2 448 000, which is 26 000 lower than in the corresponding quarter of the year before. The number of employed men decreased by 33 000 persons, whereas that of employed women increased by 7 000 from twelve months back. The number of employees in continuous full-time employment fell but that of employees in fixed-term and/or part-time employment remained unchanged.

Although the number of employees decreased in the first quarter of the year, the number of self-employed persons has risen higher than ever in the 2000s. There were 334 000 self-employed persons in the first quarter. Their number grew by 21 000 from the year before. In the early 1990s, the number of self-employed persons was even higher than this, but if self-employed persons in agriculture are left out of the examination, the number of self-employed persons also exceeds its level in the years prior to the recession of the early 1990s.

TOL 2008 Standard Industrial Classification

Data on employment by industry are now published for the first time from the Labour Force Survey by the revised, national TOL 2008 Standard Industrial Classification. The revised classification is based on the NACE Rev 2 classification of the European Union and differs in many respects from its predecessor TOL 2002. The differences are explained more closely on Statistics Finland’s website at: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/tol2008_en.html .

In the first quarter of the year employment decreased most clearly in the manufacture of wood, paper and paper products (activities 16–18), construction of buildings (activity 41), wholesale trade (activity 46) and information and communication (activities 58–63). Employment went up in crop and animal production (activity 1) and human health and social work (activities 86–88).

In the first quarter, the number of unemployed persons grew by the same amount as the number of employed persons fell, or by 26 000 persons. At the same time the population of working age grew by 22 000 persons, so the labour force participation rate (share of persons in the labour force in the population of working age) fell slightly.

Changes in the labour force 2009/I–2008/I according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey

  Year/Quarter Change
2009/I 2008/I 2009/I - 2008/I
1000 persons Per cent (%)
Labour force, total 2 650 2 650 0,0
Employed, total 2 448 2 474 –1,1
Unemployed, total 202 176 14,9
– men 114 88 29,4
– women 89 88 0,5
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data comply with the ILO/EU definition.

In the first quarter the rate of unemployment stood at 7,6 per cent, having grown by around one percentage point from twelve months back. The sole reason for the growth was increase of unemployment among men. Men’s unemployment rate rose by 1,9 percentage points to 8,4 per cent, while that of women remained at the 6,9 per cent level. Especially young men’s position on the labour market has clearly worsened. In the first quarter, the unemployment rate among men between the ages of 15 and 24 was 23,7 per cent, while among women of the same age it was 14,7 per cent.

According to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, the average number of temporarily laid off persons was 38 000 in the first quarter of 2009. The number has gone up clearly, for in the last quarter of 2008 it was around 14 000 and the average number for the whole of last year was approximately 7 000 persons. The number of temporarily laid off persons has been going up steadily each month since last October.

Number of temporarily laid off persons 2009/I–2008/I-IV according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey

  Year/Quarter
2009/I        2008/IV        2008/III        2008/II        2008/I       
persons
Laid off persons, total 38 000 14 000 4 000 4 000 7 000
– for a fixed period 20 000 7 000 (3 000) .. (4 000)
– until further notice 18 000 6 000 .. .. (3 000)

Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy

At the end of March 2009, there were altogether 251 000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Employment Office Regulations, as job seekers at the employment and economic development offices . The number of unemployed job seekers was 52 000 higher than in March 2008. Unemployment grew from the previous year in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres. The number of unemployed job-seekers increased most in South Ostrobothnia (44%), Pirkanmaa (37%) and Ostrobothnia (34%). At the end of March, the number of temporarily laid off persons registered at the employment and economic development offices was 35 000, which was 26 000 higher than twelve months earlier. The number of persons covered by labour market policy measures totalled 85 000 the end of March, which was 3 000 fewer than in March of the year before. Altogether 3,2 per cent of the labour force were covered by labour market policy measures. There were 29 000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the employment and economic development offices. Their number was 10 000 higher than in last year’s March. During this March, 45 000 new vacancies were reported to the employment and economic development offices, which is 8 000 fewer than in March 2008.

Changes 2009/03 – 2008/03 according to the Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy

  Year/Month Change
2009/03 2008/03 2009/03 - 2008/03
1000 persons Per cent (%)
Unemployed job seekers 251 200 25,9
– unemployed over a year 40 46 –12,7
Total measures 85 87 –3,1
– employed with subsidised measures 35 36 –2,7
– in labour market training 33 34 –2,5
– in trainee and job alternation places 17 18 –5,1
New vacancies at employment and economic development offices 45 53 –14,7
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.

Contact information for the Ministry of Employment and the Economy:
Mr Petri Syvänen, tel. +359 10 604 8050, http://www.tem.fi/employmentbulletin

Links

Differences between the Labour Force Survey and the Employment Service Statistics are explained in the quality description of the Labour Force Survey.

Latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU  can be found under the theme of Population and social conditions on Eurostat's home page http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu.


Source: Labour force survey 2009, March. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kalle Sinivuori (09) 1734 3524, Juha Martikainen (09) 1734 3225, Veli Rajaniemi (09) 1734 3434, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 28.04.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. March 2009. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 19.3.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2009/03/tyti_2009_03_2009-04-28_tie_001_en.html