4 Inactive population

4.1 Number of persons in the inactive population has grow

In 2014, there were a total of 1,416,000 persons aged 15 to 74 in the inactive population, which was 5,000 more than in 2013. The growth resulted mainly from the fact that the number of persons aged 65 to 74 in the inactive population increased. In the Labour Force Survey, the inactive population refers to persons who were not employed or unemployed during the survey week.

The Labour Force Survey also collects data on what the persons in the inactive population see as their principal activity. A majority of the inactive population, approximately 60 per cent, were on old-age or disability pension or otherwise chronically ill. Close on one-quarter of the inactive population were full-time students or pupils. Approximately one-tenth of the inactive population reported that they were unemployed or laid off but did not meet the criteria of unemployment within the Labour Force Survey. Around six per cent were caring for their own children or some other relative. Data concerning main type of activity are based on the respondent's own reporting. (Figure 19.)

Figure 19. persons in the inactive population aged 15 to 74 by main activity in 2009 and 2014

Figure 19. persons in the inactive population aged 15 to 74 by main activity in 2009 and 2014
Data concerning main type of activity are based on the respondent's own reporting.

4.2 Number of persons in disguised unemployment grew further

Persons in the inactive population who would want gainful work and would be available for work within a fortnight, but who have not looked for work in the past four weeks, are classified as persons in disguised unemployment in the Labour Force Survey. Persons in disguised unemployment can be considered as potential additional labour force.

The number of persons in disguised employment was included in the statistics in 1997 when there were 138,000 persons aged between 15 and 74 in disguised unemployment. The number of persons in disguised unemployment was lowest at 77,000 in 2008 during a period of good employment, after which the number has slowly returned to the level seen in the late 1990s, 138,000 persons in 2014. (Figure 20.)

Figure 20. Persons in disguised unemployment in 1998 to 2014, persons aged 15 to 74

Figure 20. Persons in disguised unemployment in 1998 to 2014, persons aged 15 to 74

The assumption that no work is available was the most common reason among persons in disguised unemployment for not seeking employment even if they wanted a job. Around one-third (43,000) of persons in disguised employment believed this to be true. For about one in six (21,000), the reason was studying. (Figure 21).

Figure 21. Most common reasons reported by persons in disguised unemployment aged between 15 and 74 for not actively seeking work even if they wanted a job in 2014

Figure 21. Most common reasons reported by persons in disguised unemployment aged between 15 and 74 for not actively seeking work even if they wanted a job in 2014

In 2014, the number of persons in disguised unemployment was the highest in the 15 to 24 age group (33,000) and in the 55 to 64 age group (39,000). Among persons in disguised unemployment aged 15 to 24, the majority reported studying as the reason for not looking for work. Among persons aged 55 to 64, the most common reason was the assumption that no work was available. There were also persons in disguised unemployment among persons aged 65 to 74 (18,000). They named being retired as the most common reason for not seeking employment even if they wanted a job.


Source: Labour Force Survey 2014. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Hanna Sutela 029 551 2907, Pertti Taskinen 029 551 2690, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 28.4.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. Employment and unemployment 2014, 4 Inactive population . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 14.11.2018].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2014/13/tyti_2014_13_2015-04-28_kat_004_en.html