1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons, employed women and employed men in 2016 compared to 2011

According to the data of Statistics Finland's employment statistics, the most common occupations at the end of 2016 were shop sales assistants (101,300), health care assistants (75,100) and cleaners and helpers in offices, hotels and other establishments (69,000). In five years, general secretaries have dropped from the list of the ten most common occupational groups and house builders have taken their place.

Figure 1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons in 2016

Figure 1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons in 2016

The most common occupational groups were examined on the 4-digit level of the Classification of Occupations 2010. 1)

A total of 35,100 persons worked as house builders in 2016 and their number was around 4,600 higher than in 2011. In 2016, the occupational group had position nine, while five years ago, it was the 11th.

In 2016, a total of 33,700 persons worked as general secretaries and the occupational group held position 11, while five years ago, its position was still the seventh. At the time, 46,600 persons worked as general secretaries. Some of those working as general secretaries in 2011, around 11,600 persons, were no longer employed persons or did not belong to the population in 2016.

In 2016, women worked most commonly as shop sales assistants (67,800), health care assistants (67,300) and nurses (62,700). Men's most common occupational groups were heavy truck and lorry drivers (38,900), shop sales assistants (33,500) and house builders (33,200).

In 2011, women worked most commonly as health care assistants (71,400), shop sales assistants (70,600) and cleaners and helpers in offices, hotels and other establishments (65,400). Men's most common occupational groups were heavy truck and lorry drivers (41,000), shop sales assistants (33,600) and commercial sales representatives (29,000).

Shop sales assistants were the only occupational group that was included in the ten most common occupational groups of both women and men in 2016, as in all years in the past five years. The shares of shop sales assistants did not either have any changes for women and men in the period 2011 to 2016. Around 67 per cent of shop sales assistants were women and around 33 per cent men.

In 2016 only one occupational group of the ten most common occupational groups of employed women and employed men was different compared to 2011.

1.1 Accounting associate professionals dropped from the ten most common occupational groups of women and were replaced by social work associate professionals in the period 2011 to 2016

Compared to 2011, only one occupational group, accounting associate professionals, had dropped in 2016 from the ten most common occupational groups of women, being replaced by social work associate professionals.

Table 1. Most common occupational groups in 2016 among employed women of aged 18 to 74 (AML2010 4-digit level)

Occupational group (AML2010 4-digit level) Employed persons Women Of all employed women, % Share of women, % Share of men, %
5223 Shop sales assistants 101,333 67,813 5.9 66.9 33.1
5321 Health care assistants 75,062 67,306 5.9 89.7 10.3
3221 Nursing associate professionals 67,781 62,710 5.5 92.5 7.5
9112 Cleaners and helpers in offices, hotels and other establishments 68,920 57,283 5.0 83.1 16.9
5311 Child care workers 39,205 37,808 3.3 96.4 3.6
4120 Secretaries (general) 33,676 29,645 2.6 88.0 12.0
5120 Cooks 40,553 27,596 2.4 68.0 32.0
3412 Social work associate professionals 33,439 26,074 2.3 78.0 22.0
5322 Home-based personal care workers 27,890 25,615 2.2 91.8 8.2
2341 Primary school teachers 26,315 20,408 1.8 77.6 22.4
Employed persons among the ten most common occupational groups of women 514,174 422,258 37.0 82.1 17.9
Employed persons, total 2,275,679 1,140,297 100.0 50.1 49.9

In 2016, a total of 18,100 women worked as accounting associate professionals and the occupation group had position 12, while five years ago, its position was still the 8th. In 2016, the number of women working as accounting associate professionals was 3,200 lower than in 2011 (21,300 persons in 2011). Some of the women working as accounting associate professionals in 2011, in total around 5,300 persons, were not employed or did not any more belong to the population in 2016.

The occupational group of social work associate professionals had risen among the ten most common occupational groups in place of accounting associate professionals, in position eight. A total of 26,100 women worked as social work associate professionals in 2016, which was 7,100 women more than in 2011. 2)

On the 4-digit level of the Classification of Occupations, the occupational group 3412 social work associate professionals consists of three 5-digit level occupational groups: 34121 social instructors, 34122 youth leaders (not parishes) and 34123 work and craft leaders. Of these employed women's occupational groups, the occupational group of social work associate professionals has grown most in five years, by around 6,000 persons. More or less the same number of women worked as social instructors in 2011 and 2016 (around 2,000 persons), while 1.7-fold more women (2,800) worked as work and craft leaders compared with 2011.

1.2 Number of software developers doubled in five years, and dropped metal working machine tool setters and operators from the ten most common occupational groups of men

In five years, metal working machine tool setters and operators have dropped from the ten most common occupational groups of men and software developers have taken their place, in position nine.

Table 2. Most common occupational groups in 2016 among employed men of aged 18 to 74 (AML2010 4-digit level)

Occupational group(AML2010 4-digit level) Employed persons Men Of all employed men, % Share of men, % Share of women, %
8332 Heavy truck and lorry drivers 40,935 38,680 3.4 94.5 5.5
5223 Shop sales assistants 101,333 33,520 3.0 33.1 66.9
7111 House builders 35,067 33,240 2.9 94.8 5.2
9333 Freight handlers 33,977 27,520 2.4 81.0 19.0
3322 Commercial sales representatives 40,177 25,195 2.2 62.7 37.3
7231 Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers 23,674 22,706 2.0 95.9 4.1
5153 Building caretakers 25,752 21,784 1.9 84.6 15.4
7233 Agricultural and industrial machinery mechanics and repairers 17,848 17,447 1.5 97.8 2.2
2512 Software developers 21,248 17,178 1.5 80.8 19.2
7115 Carpenters and joiners 15,863 15,457 1.4 97.4 2.6
Employed persons among the ten most common occupational groups of men 355,874 252,727 22.3 71.0 29.0
Employed persons total 2,275,679 1,135,382 100.0 49.9 50.1

A total of 17,200 men worked as software developers in 2016. Men's number as software developers has more than doubled compared with 2011. In 2016, the occupational group held the position nine, while five years ago, it was the 31st. 3)

In 2016, the number of men working as metal working machine tool setters and operators was 14,400, which was 2,300 men lower than in 2011. In 2016, the occupational group was in position 13, while five years ago, its position was the 10th. Some of men working as metal working machine tool setters and operators in 2011, in total around 4,200 persons, were no longer employed persons or did not belong to the population in 2016.


1) The data on occupations remained unknown for some 4.1 per cent of all employed persons, for some 4.0 per cent of all employed women and for 4.2 per cent of all employed men in 2016. The data on occupations remained unknown for some 2.5 per cent of all employed persons, for some 2.5 per cent of all employed women and for 2.6 per cent of all employed men in 2016.
2) The number of employed men as social work associate professionals has also grown from 2011 to 2016. In 2016, a total of 7,400 men worked as social work associate professionals, which was 1.5-fold compared with 2011. Measured by the number of employed men, the occupational group 3412 social work associate professionals was only the 38th most common for men.
3) The number of women (4,100 in 2016) has also almost doubled in five years. According to the number of employed women, the occupational group of software developers was only the 52nd most common for women.

Source: Employment Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Juho Keva 029 551 3601, Elina Mikkelä 029 551 2973, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 2.11.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Employment [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-6825. Industry, employer sector and jobs 2016, 1. Ten most common occupational groups of employed persons, employed women and employed men in 2016 compared to 2011 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 5.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyokay/2016/04/tyokay_2016_04_2018-11-02_kat_001_en.html