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Press release 19.12.2006

Employment and unemployment in November 2006

- Number of employed persons 54,000 higher than one year before
- Employment rate 68.8 per cent
- Number of unemployed 32,000 lower than one year ago
- Unemployment rate 6.7 per cent, 175,000 unemployed
- 35,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to November 2006, average number of employed 41,000 higher than during the same period of 2005

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in November was 2,444,000, or 54,000 higher than a year earlier. The number of both wage and salary earners and self-employed grew. The number of wage and salary earners in continuing full-time employment increased by 30,000. The number of employed persons grew most in the Provinces of Western Finland and Oulu.

In November, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 68.8 per cent, which was 1.3 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate for men rose by 1.3 percentage points to 70.5 per cent, and that of women by 1.4 percentage points to 67.1 per cent. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment rate was 69.2 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 11/2005 - 11/2006, thousand persons

  November 2006 November 2005 Change %
11/05 - 11/06
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed total 2 444 2 390 2.3
 - wage and salary earners 2 126 2 098 1.3
 - self-employed and assisting family members 318 292 9.0
 Employment rate, % 68.8 67.5 1.32
 Unemployed 1 175 207 -15.5
 Unemployment rate, % 6.7 8.0 -1.32
 Labour force, total 2 619 2 597 0.8
 Labour force participation rate, % 66.0 65.7 0.32
 Economically inactive, total 1 350 1 356 -0.4
 - students 376 384 -2.1
 - persons performing domestic work 87 82 5.9
 Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 101 92 10.4
 Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
 Unemployed job seekers 227 260 -12.8
 - unemployed over a year 59 70 -15.6
 Employed with subsidised measures 39 37 6.1
 In labour market training 35 32 8.3
 In trainee and job alternation places 20 19 4.1
 New vacancies at labour exchange offices 35 28 24.8
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 Due to rounding the year-on-year changes in the table do not always match with the figure in the text
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation
2percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 175,000 unemployed in November, i.e. 32,000 fewer than in the year before. At 6.7 per cent the unemployment rate was 1.3 percentage points lower than one year before. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate was 7.5 per cent in November.

The unemployment rate fell especially in Eastern and Northern Finland. The unemployment rate was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, at 5.7 per cent, and highest in the Province of Lapland, at 10.9 per cent. In November 2006, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 14.9 per cent, which was 3.0 percentage points lower than in the previous year's November. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the unemployment rate for young people was 18.8 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to November 2006period was 2,442,000, which is 41,000 more than over the corresponding period in the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 208,000, or 14,000 fewer than in the January to November period of 2005.

At end-November 2006, there were altogether 227,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as unemployed job seekers at the labour exchange offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 33,000 lower than in November 2005. Unemployment fell from the previous year in the areas of all Employment and Economic Development Centres. The number of those covered by employment policy measures was 6,000 higher than in November the year before, and was 3.6 per cent of the labour force. There were 22,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in last year's November. During this November, 35,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 7,000 more than in November 2005.

Differences between the Labour Force Survey and the Labour Exchange Statistics

The employment situation is monitored monthly both with the sample-based Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland and with the register-based Labour Exchange Statistics of the Ministry of Labour. The Labour Exchange Statistics describe the situation on the last weekday of the month. The data for the Labour Force Survey are collected for every week of the month.

The Labour Force Survey follows the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the practices required by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. According to them, a person is classified as unemployed if he or she is aged 15 or over, does not have a job, has actively sought employment in the past four weeks and would be available for work within two weeks. The Labour Exchange Statistics are based on legislation and administrative regulations.

The Labour Force Survey and the Labour Exchange Statistics apply two basically different statistical criteria to how actively a person seeks work and makes him/herself available on the labour market. Due to statistical differences, the number of unemployed job seekers may not agree with the number of unemployed calculated in accordance with the ILO recommendations.

Since the Labour Force Survey is a sample survey, its data allow for random variation. For example, the 95 per cent confidence interval, or margin of error, for the unemployment rate in November is about ± 0.5 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed persons in November is approximately ± 14,000 persons.


Statistics Finland:
Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524

E-mail:; Internet:

Ministry of Labour: Mr Petri Syvänen +358 10 60 48050, Internet:

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