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Employment service statistics: documentation of statistics

20.9.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The Employment Service Statistics provide an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of service participants and changes on the labour market. Public attention particularly focuses on monthly changes in unemployment from the corresponding month in the previous year. Seasonally adjusted figures are used to monitor the trend of change. The Employment Service Statistics also provide information about job vacancies posted to TE Offices and numbers of people participating in services provided by the employment and economic development administration (TE administration).

Statistical presentation

The Employment Service Statistics contain key information about jobseekers registered with Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices), particularly those currently unemployed, as well as labour market policy services and job vacancies. The size of jobseeker groups is expressed in terms of the number of people and the number of those participating in labour market policy services. Vacancies refer to the number of vacancies posted to the TE Offices at the time of monitoring. Unemployed individuals have to register with a TE Office as unemployed jobseekers in order to receive unemployment benefits. The figures also include registered jobseekers who are participating in local government trial schemes for promoting employment.

The StatFin database and the Employment Bulletin contain key Employment Service Statistics data on jobseekers, unemployed jobseekers, services and job vacancies. Statistics on jobseekers are compiled according to categories such as jobseeker group. A wide variety of data on unemployed jobseekers is available by education and occupation; age group; gender; Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) region; and duration of unemployment. Vacancies are likewise broken down by region, occupational group and industry. Furthermore, the number of employment services provided during a month is also available.

The primary purpose of the Employment Service Statistics is to serve as a monitoring and measurement tool for employment and economic development activity, which provides data used to develop and increase the amount of services needed by client groups. In addition, data from the Employment Service Statistics is extensively used in research and public administration and by those who actively follow the labour market. Hopefully, the Employment Service Statistics will also be of interest to the media, relevant organisations and trade unions, as well as private citizens.

Statistical population

The Employment Service Statistics describe those registered with TE Offices as unemployed jobseekers, job vacancies posted to TE Offices and people participating in services provided by the TE administration.

Statistical unit

The statistical units used in the Employment Service Statistics are ‘person’ and ‘vacancy’.

Unit of measure

The units of measure used in the Employment Service Statistics include the number of people, the number of vacancies, and the number of weeks, days and periods.

Reference period

As a general rule, the Employment Service Statistics use the cross-sectional data from the last working day of a month, i.e. the calculation date, or the cumulative total of the statistical period per month or four-month period such as January–August, or for the whole year.

Quarterly and annual averages are based on average monthly results, which means that they describe the situation in an ‘average’ month of the statistical months in question.

Reference area

The reference area of the Employment Service Statistics covers all of Finland. Data can be produced with regional divisions into regions, sub-regional units, municipalities, labour market areas, TE Offices, Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).

Sector coverage

The Employment Service Statistics describe those registered with TE Offices as unemployed jobseekers, job vacancies posted to TE Offices and people participating in services provided by the TE administration on a monthly basis.

Time coverage

Coherent time series according to national definitions are available as of 1991 and online as of 2006. Furthermore, data is available on microfiches from the National Archives from 1981 onwards.

Frequency of dissemination

The most important monthly data is released on the specified dates on the Employment Service Statistics subsite at https://tem.fi/en/employment-bulletin-and-employment-service-statistics.
The released data is final. Monthly data is released within approximately three weeks of the end of each statistical month. Quarterly and annual averages are released at the same time with the data from the last month of each quarter. Four-monthly data is released at the same time with the data from the last month of each four-month period. Semiannual statistics are released at the same time with the data from June and annual statistics are released at the same time with the data from January.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The Employment Service Statistics are entirely based on register data, which is transferred monthly from the employment and economic development administration’s client service system. This means that all of the data in the Statistics is register-based and completely dependent on the entries in the client service system, which is intended for registration of a broad range of clients and various TE Office services. In other words, producing data for the statistics system is not its primary purpose. Sometimes data entered in register is updated after the statistical period has ended, which means that the timing of extracting individual statistics from the statistics system can be important. By way of example, annual statistics are recreated after the end of the statistical period in order to ensure that the data for the statistical year in question is as comprehensive and complete as possible.

In order to ensure the correctness of the data in the statistics system, the statistical data is spot-checked before its release, making it possible to correct any errors in the statistical tables prior to release. In addition, consistency between the statistics system and the client service system and variables is ensured through cooperation between the experts responsible for the statistics, the register and the substance issues in question.

Timeliness

Employment Service Statistics data is released on a monthly, four-monthly, semiannual and annual basis. Monthly data is released within approximately three weeks of the end of each statistical month. Four-monthly data is released at the same time with the data from the last month of a four-month period. The most detailed and comprehensive statistical data is released in semiannual statistics along with June data and in annual statistics within approximately two months of the end of the statistical year.

Punctuality

There are no time lags between the release calendar and actual release date.

Data revision

The Employment Service Statistics data is completed on a fast schedule and the published numbers are final. Once published, revisions to this data have been very rare.

Measurement error

As the Employment Service Statistics are based on register data, some (1%–5%) errors may occur due to client data being out of date in the client register. Jobseeker groups may include individuals who are no longer searching for work because they have already found employment or started studying, for example. Unless such individuals inform the TE Office of the change in their status, this information will not be reflected in the Employment Service Statistics either. Such cases are corrected within no more than a few months, when these individuals fail to contact the TE Office as agreed and their unnecessary job search is closed, for example.

Processing error

Potential errors that may occur in statistical releases include erroneous figures or concepts in release texts, charts or tables. Unlike data revisions, errors are unexpected deviations from normal statistical production.

Errors are corrected and users are informed of these as quickly as possible. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment communicates about any significant errors to the same extent and using the same channels as for actual releases.

Any corrected statistical releases are supplemented with an indication of the correction and the date of correction. If possible, the original, erroneous data is also left in place.

Any typing and other such formal errors are corrected as swiftly and flexibly as possible and these are not specifically indicated on the website.

Any changes made to statistics databases are communicated on the web page entitled ‘Changes in the database’. Statistics databases will only maintain the most recent data.

Any deviations from the schedule are also considered error situations. Should the release of statistical data be delayed significantly from the specified date, the delay will be announced on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Comparability

Coherence and comparability

Comparable time series of the key Employment Service Statistics data are available as of 2006. It is possible to use technology to merge data as of 1991 and data from 1981 onwards is available on microfiches.

Comparability - geographical

The Employment Service Statistics data is comparable across Finnish regions.

The register-based Employment Service Statistics are not comparable with statistics based on corresponding registers from other countries due to different national legislations, procedures and definitions. However, the European Commission also collects and publishes registered unemployment figures from EU Member States on an annual basis in its Labour Market Policy (LMP) database as reference data, both on its website and in the publications of the database.

Comparability - over time

Data comparable to the Employment Service Statistics has been collected since 1907. During this time, the data content, collection practices and methods have been developed on several occasions. Comparable data is available on the most essential data as of 1991.

The Statistics were initially fairly limited, only covering total numbers of jobseekers and vacancies. The data content has expanded over decades as a result of a considerable increase in both classifiers and statistical items.

Coherence - cross domain

In addition to the Employment Service Statistics, Statistics Finland’s statistics relating to the labour market include the Labour Market Survey, the Job Vacancy Survey, the Quality of Work Life Survey, statistics on labour disputes, occupational accidents statistics, and employment statistics. Statistics Finland’s Labour Market Survey is a sample-based statistical survey, which complies with internationally agreed practices and definitions. Consequently, the contents of these statistics are not comparable in terms of unemployment. The total workforce on the labour market, the number of employed people and the employment rate are only available in the Labour Force Survey. The differences between the Employment Service Statistics and the Labour Force Survey are described in the following report: Comparison between the unemployment statistics of Statistics Finland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, available online at: https://www.tilastokeskus.fi/til/tyti/tyti_2019-09-13_men_001_en.html.

Statistics Finland’s Job Vacancy Survey produces sample-based statistics on a quarterly basis. Statistics Finland’s statistics on job vacancies include jobs which employers have aimed to fill from outside the workplace, regardless of the recruitment channel. In other words, the data also covers jobs for which employees have only been recruited through private employment services or direct personal contacts, for example. However, even the statistics on job vacancies do not include all jobs, since jobs in certain sectors or workplaces with no employed personnel are excluded from the statistics. The differences between the method of presenting job vacancies in the Employment Service Statistics and Statistics Finland’s statistics on job vacancies are described in more detail in the following report (in Finnish): Tilastokeskuksen ja työ- ja elinkeinoministeriön tilastojen vertailu [Comparison between the statistics of Statistics Finland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment], available online at: https://www.tilastokeskus.fi/til/atp/men.html.

Statistics Finland’s register-based employment statistics (RES) are based on total data derived from the register data of different authorities. RES data on a person’s activities mainly describes the last week of the year. As RES data on unemployment is based on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s register of jobseekers, it is consistent with Employment Service Statistics data. The statistics take a good 18 months to complete; preliminary data is ready within about a year. The concepts of the employment statistics based on administrative registers are not internationally comparable.
The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) publish statistics on payments of unemployment-related benefits. The Kela and FIN-FSA data takes the payment of benefits into account in terms of how many people receive benefits, how much of each benefit is paid and on what grounds.

Coherence -national accounts

The concepts and definitions used in the Employment Service Statistics are not consistent with national accounts.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The Employment Service Statistics are based on data from the client register of TE Offices. In addition, Statistics Finland provides municipal figures on the labour force from the employment statistics for the purpose of calculating the proportion of unemployed jobseekers in relation to the total workforce.

Data collection

New and changed data about jobseekers, services and vacancies is transferred on a monthly basis from the replicated statistics database of the employment and economic development administration’s individual-level client service system to the Employment Service Statistics system’s individual databases, from which the actual statistical tables are created through ETL runs according to certain classifiers and variables. The overview statistics for a single month include people who meet certain conditions and are in the register on the last weekday of the month in question as well as job vacancies. The monthly review statistics cover all vacancies and individuals that meet the definitions of the table in question during that month, such as unemployed jobseekers. The statistics for a period longer than one month (four-monthly, semiannual and annual statistics) generally include all people or vacancies that meet the conditions for that period, with the exception of separately calculated annual averages, which are based on the average of monthly data.

Frequency of data collection

New and changed data is obtained from the TE Office client register on a monthly basis.

Cost and burden

The Employment Service Statistics data is based on data from the client register of TE Offices. In other words, the data required for the Statistics is generated as part of the client service processes of TE Offices. In recent years, the costs of producing the Employment Service Statistics have amounted to EUR 550,000–650,000, including both internal staff expenditure and outsourced ICT services.

Methods

Data validation

The data as well as the final statistics are checked as part of the production and reporting processes. The data is checked for the first time before its submission from the client service system. The production system includes checks for allowed values for and logical consistency of the data. The quality of statistical data due for release is verified by means such as comparison with data in the TE Office client service system and with statistical data for the corresponding period in the previous year.

Seasonal adjustment

In addition to the original series, the Employment Service Statistics also provide so-called trends stripped of annually repeated seasonal variations as well as uneven random variations. The direction of long-term developments and cyclical variations are easier to see from a trend than from unadjusted monthly data.

The trend components of the time series are calculated with the TRAMO/SEATS method recommended by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, using the Demetra+ software. Due to the method used, the last figures of the trend change slightly when the data of the following month is inserted into the time series. When using seasonally adjusted series and trend series, it is advisable to bear in mind that the TRAMO/SEATS method bases the latest months partially on model-based forecasts, which means that particular caution is required when drawing conclusions from these.

Documentation on methodology

The quality descriptions of the Employment Service Statistics are available on the statistics subsite.

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

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Contact organisation unit

Employment and Well-Functioning Markets Department<o:p></o:p>

Legal acts and other agreements

Compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act (280/2004) as the general act governing central government statistical services and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999)

Confidentiality - policy

The confidentiality of data collected for statistical purposes is absolutely guaranteed in keeping with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Data Protection Act (1050/2018) and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), as well as with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR). The data is protected throughout the statistical process by means of the necessary physical and technical solutions. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has drawn up detailed regulations and instructions for confidential treatment of data. Staff can only access data that is necessary for their duties. Staff members have signed confidentiality commitments on appointment. Penalties are prescribed for any wilful breaches of confidentiality.

Confidentiality - data treatment

Data from the Employment Service Statistics is not disclosed in an identifiable format to any party outside the employment and economic development administration (Statistics Act 280/2004, Data Protection Act 1050/2018). Data may only be disclosed without identifiers and on the basis of a specific licence decision for the purposes of scientific research and statistical analyses.
The Privacy Policy is available online at: https://tem.fi/tietosuojaselosteet (Privacy policy for the Employment Service Statistics).

Release policy

The release calendar for the Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment provides advance information on all of the statistics scheduled for release over the year. The statistics are published online at 8 am, unless otherwise indicated. The calendar is updated on working days. The release dates for the Employment Service Statistics for the following year are published every December. The statistics release calendar includes information on upcoming release dates.

Data sharing

Employment Service Statistics data is submitted annually to Statistics Finland for its research services and in part for use in its employment statistics, while certain data is provided for use in its Labour Market Survey on a monthly basis.

Accessibility and clarity

The results of the Employment Service Statistics are published in the Labour Market series of the Official Statistics of Finland (OSF). The most important monthly data is released on the specified dates on the Employment Service Statistics subsite at https://tem.fi/en/employment-bulletin-and-employment-service-statistics. The subsite includes links to the description, concepts and definitions of the statistics and the Employment Service Statistics database tables that are available free of charge from the StatFin database. Key data from four-monthly, semiannual and annual statistics is also released in the StatFin service. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) also publish some of the Employment Service Statistics data on their own websites.

Micro-data access

The data collected for statistical purposes is to be kept secret under section 24 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999). The data set is only used for statistical purposes. The data is protected in keeping with the data protection regulations issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Statistics Finland and statistical tables do not indicate any information about individual people or employers.

Under section 13 of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment may disclose data on the basis of a specific licence decision for the purposes of scientific research and statistical analysis in a format that does not allow direct identification. The Statistics Act prohibits the use of any data collected for statistical purposes as part of investigations, supervision, legal proceedings, administrative decision-making, or for consideration of a matter concerning a business enterprise.

Data revision - policy

The Employment Service Statistics may contain deviations or errors due to several stages of the statistical process. There may either have been an error in statistical production or the data received from the client register may have contained errors. In such cases, the aim is to identify the error source as soon as possible and to produce corrected statistical data. Users are informed of any corrections on the Employment Service Statistics subsite and, depending on the situation, also in a news release issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Information on revisions is available on the Statistics subsite at: https://tem.fi/en/release-dates-of-statistics-and-description-and-quality-description

User needs

The monthly, four-monthly, semiannual and annual statistics of the Employment Service Statistics outline seasonal and cyclical variations in the labour market. The Employment Service Statistics time series describe long-term changes in the labour market. Annual averages describe jobseekers, people participating in services provided by the employment and economic development administration (TE administration), as well as job vacancies broken down by occupation, education, age, gender and region, for example.

The primary purpose of the Employment Service Statistics is to serve as a monitoring and measurement tool for employment and economic development activity, which provides data used to develop the amount of services needed by client groups. The Employment Service Statistics data is also used more widely in support of making decisions, preparing labour market policy forecasts and plans, and monitoring the employment effects of various measures. Key users of the results include the employment and economic development administration, ministries, bodies responsible for regional planning, employer and employee organisations, universities and research institutes, international organisations and the European Union.

User satisfaction

Feedback from public users is collected and analysed as a continuous process. Furthermore, user satisfaction within the TE administration is gauged annually by means of a separate survey. The total score in the latest one (03/2020) was 3.92 on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 = adequate and 5 = excellent.

Quality assessment

The quality of the Employment Service Statistics is assessed at several different stages of the statistical process.

Quality assurance

In its statistics compilation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment complies with the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP) and the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) based on the Code. The Code of Practice concerns the independence and accountability of statistical authorities and the quality of processes and the data being published. Its principles are compatible with and supplementary to the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission. The quality criteria of the Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice.

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

The Employment Service Statistics are official statistics. The Official Statistics of Finland form a comprehensive collection of statistics describing the development and state of society. They comprise nearly 300 sets of statistics on 26 different topics. The producers of the Official Statistics of Finland have signed on to a joint quality commitment to shared quality objectives and quality assurance measures. The quality criteria of the Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. Good statistical practices are presented in Statistics Finland’s handbook entitled ‘Quality Guidelines for Official Statistics’

User access

The data is released to all users at the same time.

Prior to release, the Employment Service Statistics data may only be processed and communicated within the employment and economic development administration by individuals who are involved in compiling the Statistics or require the data in their own work before its release date.

In special cases, data may be disclosed prior to the official release date in keeping with a pre-release embargo policy. Such situations include statutory or contractual data submissions to Statistics Finland for the purpose of producing a post-release publication or mandatory reporting to the European Union. In such cases, the data must be marked as confidential until its release (the pre-release embargo policy requiring that the recipient will not make the data available in public before the specified date).

Statistical experts

Petri Syvänen
Ministerial Adviser
029 504 8050

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