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

Latest publication: Labour force survey 2021, October

Published: 22 June 2021

Employment increased and unemployment decreased in May from one year ago

Corrected on 27 July 2021. Up-to-date trend figures can be found in the latest release. The corrections are indicated in red.

According to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, the number of employed people was 138,000 higher in May 2021 than one year ago. There were 6,000 fewer unemployed people than in May 2020. The trend of the employment rate was 71.6 per cent and the trend of the unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent.

Employment rate and trend of employment rate 2011/05–2021/05, persons aged 15–64

Employment rate and trend of employment rate 2011/05–2021/05, persons aged 15–64

Employment and unemployment vary quite much by month and the change from the observation of the previous month mainly describes the seasonal aspect rather than the trend in development. Thus, the latest statistical data are compared to the corresponding period of the year before. By contrast, the figures of the trend series that are adjusted for seasonal and random variation are mutually comparable and phenomena associated with long-term development and cyclical changes are thus more easily observable from the trend of the time series.

The trend usually changes somewhat when the data of the following month are included in the time series. The preliminary nature of the latest trend figures should be considered when making conclusions. The fall in employment in spring 2020 was interpreted as a level shift in the seasonal adjustment model. The figures reported in this release are not adjusted for seasonal variation unless separately mentioned that they concern the trend. Find out more about the trend here .

The data content, data collection and estimation method of the Labour Force Survey were revised at the beginning of 2021. Starting from the release for March and the first quarter of 2021, the data according to the new estimation method are final. The most important key figures from the time series according to the new method are published in the StatFin database service. Other revised time series will be published during 2021.

The final Labour Force Survey data concerning January and February 2020 and 2021 have been published in connection with the data for March and the 1st quarter.

The trend of the employment rate was 71.6 per cent in May and the trend of the unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent.

In May 2021, the number of employed persons was 2,580,000 (margin of error ±32,000), which was 138,000 higher than a year earlier. There were 61,000 more employed men and 76,000 more employed women than in May 2020.

In May, the employment rate , that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 73.0 per cent, having been 69.1 per cent one year earlier. From last year’s May, the employment rate of men aged 15 to 64 rose by 3.2 percentage points to 73.7 per cent and that of women by 4.8 percentage points to 72.4 per cent. The employment rate of people aged 20 to 69 was 71.1 per cent, having been 67.8 per cent in the year before.

According to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, there were 295,000 unemployed in May 2021, i.e. 6,000 fewer than one year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 168,000 and that of women 126,000 .

In May, the unemployment rate , the proportion of the unemployed among the labour force stood at 10.3 per cent, having been 10.9 per cent one year earlier. The unemployment rate for women fell by 1.5 percentage points from last year’s May to 9,3 per cent. Men's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 11.1 per cent.

In May, the unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 stood at 31.2 per cent, which was 8.1 percentage points lower than one year previously. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 17.9 per cent. The share of unemployed young people aged 15 to 24 among the population in the same age group was 20.2 per cent.

There were 1,248,000 persons aged 15 to 74 in the inactive population in May 2021, which was 144,000 fewer than one year earlier.

Changes in employment 2020/05 – 2021/05 according to Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey, population aged 15 to 74 (Table was corrected on 27 July 2021.)

  Year/Month Change
2020/05 2021/05 2020/05 - 2021/05
1000 persons Per cent, %
Population total 4 134 4 122 –0,3
Active population total 2 742 2 874 4,8
Employed 2 442 2 580 5,6
– employees 2 101 2 211 5,3
– self-employed persons and unpaid family workers 341 368 8,0
Unemployed 300 295 –1,9
Inactive population 1 392 1 248 –10,3
  Per cent, % Percentage points
Employment rate, persons aged 15–64 69,1 73,0 4,0
Employment rate, persons aged 20–69 67,8 71,1 3,3
Unemployment rate 10,9 10,3 –0,7
Activity rate 66,3 69,7 3,4
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.
The data comply with the ILO/EU definition.


Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

At the end of May 2021, there were altogether 301,000 persons registered in accordance with the Employment Office Regulations as job seekers at the employment and economic development offices and in local government pilots. The number of unemployed job seekers was 132,000 lower than in May last year.

Unemployment fell in May from the corresponding period last year in the areas of all Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment: most in South Ostrobothnia (-44%), Ostrobothnia (-40%) and Pirkanmaa (-36%). The number of unemployed job seekers declined least in Uusimaa (-26%), Central Finland (-26% ) and Häme (-28% ). At the end of May, the number of fully laid off persons was 41,000, which was 117,000 fewer than twelve months earlier.

The number of persons engaged in services included in the activation rate totalled 113,000 at the end of May, which was 8,000 more than in May of the year before. Altogether, 4.0 per cent of the labour force was covered by labour market policy services.

There were 36,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25. Their number was 20,000 lower than in last year's May. During May, 81,000 new vacancies were reported, which was 36,000 more than in May last year.

Changes 2020/05–2021/05 according to the Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

  Year/Month Change
2020/05 2021/05 2020/05 - 2021/05
1000 persons Per cent, %
Unemployed job seekers 433 301 –30,4
– unemployed over a year 70 111 58,9
Services, total 106 113 7,3
– employed 21 28 29,8
– in labour market training, in training 24 25 3,9
– engaged in work/training trials 5 6 33,7
– as a job alternation substitute, in rehabilitative work, self-motivated studies supported by unemployment benefit 56 55 –1,9
New vacancies at employment and economic development offices 45 81 79,1
Unrounded figures are used in the Change column.

Contact information for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Liisa Larja, tel. +358 29 504 7036, Employment bulletin

Links

Labour Force Survey tables in databases

Changes in the StatFin database:

Changes to Labour Force Survey database tables on 4 May 2021 and 1 June 2021.

About seasonally adjusted trend

The accuracy of figures are explained in the quality description of the Labour Force Survey .

Comparison between the employment statistics of Statistics Finland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Job vacancy survey

The latest seasonally adjusted employment figures published by the EU and
the latest data on open job vacancies published by the EU can be found on
Eurostat's home page http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat .


Source: Labour force survey 2021, May. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kirsi Toivonen 029 551 3535, Tatu Leskinen 029 551 3285, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala

Publication in pdf-format (398.9 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Figures
Quality descriptions

Updated 22.6.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. May 2021. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 27.11.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2021/05/tyti_2021_05_2021-06-22_tie_001_en.html