4 Number of employees working involuntarily in temporary jobs grew in 2012

4.1 Temporary employment contracts more usual among women than men

In 2012, the average number of employees in Finland was 2,146,000, which was more or less on level with one year earlier. In all, 336,000 employees had temporary employment contracts, of whom 202,000 were women and 134,000 men (Figure 10).

Figure 10. Number of temporary employees aged 15 to 74 by sex in 2000–2012

Figure 10. Number of temporary employees aged 15 to 74 by sex in 2000–2012

Eighty-four per cent of all employment contracts of employees were permanent and 16 per cent temporary in 2012. The shares were the same as in the previous year. The share of temporary employees was 18 per cent among female employees and 13 per cent among male employees. In recent years, the share of female temporary employees has been falling slowly. For men, the share of temporary employees was in 2012 still higher than in 2008 and 2009. (Figure 11.)

Figure 11. Share of temporary employees of all employees aged 15 to 74 by sex in 1998-2012, %

Figure 11. Share of temporary employees of all employees aged 15 to 74 by sex in 1998-2012, %

4.2 Two out of three temporary employees would want a permanent job

To an employee, temporary employment can be either a desired or involuntary form of employment. Approximately 25 per cent of temporary employees did not want a permanent job in 2012. The majority of them were aged between 15 and 24. Summer workers are a typical group of persons working voluntarily in temporary jobs.

However, a more common reason for working in a temporary employment relationship is that permanent work cannot be found. In 2012, the lack of permanent work was the reason why around 66 per cent of temporary employees worked in temporary jobs. The share of persons working involuntarily in temporary jobs among all temporary employees increased somewhat from 2011 to 2012.

In 2012, there were 221,000 temporary employees on the labour market who had not found a permanent job even though they would have wanted one. Of them, 137,000 were women and 83,000 men. One year before, the number of persons working involuntarily in temporary jobs was 208,000. Involuntary working under temporary contracts increases with age.

4.3 Around one-half of new employment contracts temporary

The number of employees with employment contracts of under one year's duration decreased slightly from 2011. In 2012, such employees numbered 435,000, or 11,000 fewer than in 2011. (Figure 12.)

Figure 12. Employees with employment contracts of under one year's duration in 2000-2012, persons aged 15 to 74

Figure 12. Employees with employment contracts of under one year's duration in 2000-2012, persons aged 15 to 74

Fifty-three per cent of the employment contracts of under one year's duration were temporary. There has been a clear difference between women and men in whether a new employment relationship is temporary or permanent. In 2012, 59 per cent of women’s and 46 per cent of men’s new employment relationships were temporary.

4.4 One per cent of employees did temporary agency work

Temporary agency work refers to an employment relationship in which an employee works via an enterprise which intermediates or hires labour force. Data on temporary agency work have been collected in the Labour Force Survey since 2008. In 2012, the average number of persons doing temporary agency work was 27,000, or about the same as in 2011. The shares of men and women doing temporary agency work were almost equal.

Among all employees, the share of temporary agency workers was only one per cent or so in 2012. Thus, doing temporary agency work is quite a marginal form of working on the Finnish labour market. Temporary agency work is most commonly done by young people: around five per cent of 15 to 24-year-old employees were doing it.

Temporary agency workers are employed by several industries. Their use is most usual in wholesale and retail trade, in hotel and restaurant activities and in manufacturing. Each of these industries employed a couple of thousand temporary agency workers.


Source: Labour Force Survey 2012. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pertti Taskinen 09 1734 2690, Joanna Viinikka 09 1734 3796, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 5.3.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. Employment and unemployment 2012, 4 Number of employees working involuntarily in temporary jobs grew in 2012 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.11.2018].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2012/13/tyti_2012_13_2013-03-05_kat_004_en.html