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Press release 20.2.2007

Employment and unemployment in January 2007

- Number of employed persons 27,000 higher than one year before
- Employment rate 67.1 per cent
- Number of unemployed persons 31,000 lower than one year before
- Unemployment rate 7.6 per cent, 195,000 unemployed
- 57,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in January was 2,380,000, or 27,000 higher than a year earlier. Employment increased in the private sector, but remained unchanged in the public sector. The number of employed persons went up in the Provinces of Southern and Western Finland.

In January, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 67.1 per cent, which was 0.5 percentage points higher than twelve months earlier. The employment rate of men was 67.8 per cent and that of women 66.4 per cent. The trend of the employment rate was 69.6 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 1/2006 - 1/2007 thousand persons

  January 2007 January 2006 CHANGE %
1/06 - 1/07
 Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
 Employed, total 2 380 2 353 1.2
 - wage and salary earners 2 077 2 034 2.1
 - self-employed and assisting family members 303 318 -5.0
 Employment rate, % 67.1 66.6 0.52
 Unemployed1 195 226 -13.5
 Unemployment rate, % 7.6 8.7 -1.12
 Labour force, total 2 575 2 578 -0.1
 Labour force participation rate, % 64.8 65.2 -0.42
 Economically inactive, total 1 397 1 377 1.4
 - students 382 372 2.5
 - persons performing domestic work 89 87 2.5
 Economically inactive persons in disguised unemployment 91 114 -20.4
 Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
 Unemployed job seekers 244 280 -13.1
 - unemployed over a year 58 71 -18.4
 Employed with subsidised measures 40 36 10.8
 In labour market training 32 28 11.7
 In trainee and job alternation places 18 17 5.4
 New vacancies at labour exchange offices 57 48 17.9
 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 195,000 unemployed in January 2007, i.e. 31,000 fewer than in January 2006. At 7.6 per cent, the unemployment rate was 1.1 percentage points lower than one year before. The trend of the unemployment rate in January was 7.0 per cent.

The unemployment rate was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, where it stood at 6.3 per cent, and highest, at 11.1 per cent, in the Province of Eastern Finland. In January 2007, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 18.7 per cent, which was 1.8 percentage points lower than in the previous year's January. The trend of the unemployment rate among young people was 17.9 per cent.

At the end of January 2007, there were altogether 244,000 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 37,000 lower than in January 2006. 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 8,000 higher than in January 2006, and was 3.5 per cent of the labour force. There were 26,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in last year's January. During this January, 57,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 9,000 more than in January 2006.

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. In respect of the January unemployment rate, for example, the 95 per cent confidence interval or the margin of error is about ± 0.6 percentage points. The confidence interval for the number of unemployed is approximately ± 16,000 persons.


Statistics Finland: Ms Heidi Melasniemi-Uutela +358 9 1734 2523, Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Email:; Internet:

Ministry of Labour: Mr Oiva Lönnberg +358 10 60 48048, Internet:

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