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1 Introduction

This Labour Force Survey publication contains statistical data on families and work. This publication examines the changes that have occurred in the employment of mothers and fathers of families with children and in the use of family leaves between 2014 and 2018. The data are based on interview data derived from the household section of the Labour Force Survey. The publication is focused on the age group of those aged 20 to 59 because over 99 per cent of the parents of children aged under 18 belong to this age group. Families with children are families that have at least one child aged under 18 living in the same household. In this review, people without children are those who do not have children aged under 18 living in their household.

At the end of 2018, families with children numbered 562,000. The number of families with children declined by 4,300 from the year before. In the last decade, the number of families with children has decreased by an average of 2,000 families per year. Families with children had 1.85 children on average. Of these families, 43 per cent had one child, 39 per cent two children and 18 per cent at least three children. Of the families with underage children, 58 per cent were families formed of a married couple with children, around 20 per cent were cohabiting couples with children and 22 per cent were one-parent families with underage children. (Families 2018, Statistics Finland).

When assessing the employment status among parents of small children, the international definition of the employed used in the Labour Force Survey should be considered: In the Labour Force Survey, employed are those persons who have worked for at least one hour during the survey week. Employed are also those employees absent from work whose reason for absence is maternity or paternity leave, illness or accident or whose absence has lasted under three months. Self-employed persons are always included in employed even if they had not worked during the survey week.

Sections 2 and 3 of this publication describe the employment of the parents of families with children and Section 4 explains their activity in more detail. The concepts used and the household data for the Labour Force Survey are described in more detail in Sections 5 and 6. Appendix tables contain more detailed information about the employment of parents for years 2014 to 2018.

Source: Labour Force Survey 2018. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tarja Nieminen 029 551 3561, Olga Kambur 029 551 3565,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Updated 14.11.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. Families and work 2018, 1 Introduction . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 3.6.2023].
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