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Press release 22.5.2007

Employment and unemployment in April 2007

- Number of employed persons 72,000 higher than one year earlier
- Employment rate 69.2 per cent
- Unemployment rate 7.2 per cent, 191,000 unemployed
- 44,000 new vacancies at labour exchange offices
- In January to April 2007, average number of employed 44,000 higher than during the same period of 2006

According to the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland, the number of employed persons in April was 2,456,000, or 72,000 higher than a year earlier. Employment increased chiefly in the private sector. The number of wage and salary earners was 75,000 higher than one year previously. There were 61,000 more wage and salary earners in continuing full-time employment. The number of employed persons grew in the provinces of Southern Finland, Western Finland and Oulu.

In April, the employment rate, that is, the proportion of the employed among persons aged 15 to 64, stood at 69.2 per cent, which was 1.7 percentage points higher than one year before. The employment rate of men was 70.2 per cent and that of women 68.1 per cent. The employment rate trend adjusted for seasonal and random variation was 69.9 per cent.

Changes in the labour force 4/2006 - 4/2007, thousand persons

  April 2007 April 2006 CHANGE %
4/06 - 4/07
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey:
Employed, total 2,456 2,384 3.0
- wage and salary earners 2,141 2,066 3.6
- self-employed and assisting family members 315 318 -1.0
Employment rate, % 69.2 67.5 1.7
Unemployed1 191 225 -14.9
Unemployment rate, % 7.2 8.6 -1.4
Labour force, total 2,647 2,609 1.5
Labour force participation rate, % 66.6 65.9 0.72
Economically inactive, total 1,330 1,351 -1.5
- students 334 349 -4.2
- persons performing domestic work 89 91 -1.8
Ministry of Labour's Labour Exchange Statistics:
Unemployed job seekers 212 248 -14.4
- unemployed over a year 54 67 -19.8
Employed with subsidised measures 41 38 8.8
In labour market training 35 34 4.7
In trainee and job alternation places 18 19 -2.6
New vacancies at labour exchange offices 44 36 22.3
 Unrounded figures are used in the CHANGE column
 1Based on the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation
2percentage points

According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 191,000 unemployed in April 2007, i.e. 34,000 fewer than in April of the year before. At 7.2 per cent the unemployment rate was 1.4 percentage points lower than one year before. The trend of unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent in April.

The rate of unemployment was lowest in the Province of Southern Finland, i.e. 6.1 per cent, and highest in the Province of Oulu, at 12.0 per cent. In April 2007, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 was 20.5 per cent, which was 5.6 percentage points lower than in the previous year's April. The trend of unemployment rate for young people was 17.0 per cent.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the average number of employed persons in the January to April 2007 period was 2,425,000, which is 44,000 more than over the corresponding period of the year before. The average number of unemployed persons was 196,000, or 24,000 fewer than in the January to April period of 2006.

At the end of April 2007, there were altogether 212,000 persons registered, in accordance with the Unemployment Security Act and the Labour Exchange Office Regulations, as job seekers at the labour exchange offices. The number of unemployed job seekers was 36,000 lower than in April 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 4,000 higher than in April the year before, and was 3.6 per cent of the labour force. There were 20,000 unemployed job seekers aged under 25 registered at the labour exchange offices. Their number was 4,000 lower than in last year's April. During April, 44,000 new vacancies were reported to the labour exchange offices, which is 8,000 more than in April 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 unemployment rate in April, 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 in April is approximately ± 16,000 persons.


Statistics Finland: Mr Juha Martikainen +358 9 1734 3225, Mr Veli Rajaniemi +358 9 1734 3434, Mr Kalle Sinivuori +358 9 1734 3524, Information Service/Labour Force Survey +358 9 1734 2030, Email:

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

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