Working life barometer measures changes in working life

Each year, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy produces a working life barometer, which describes the state of working life at Finnish workplaces. In the barometer, employees give their views of their work and the results are based on interviews in which employees are asked questions about

  • organisation of work
  • working hour and pay schemes
  • on-the-job learning and opportunities to influence developments
  • discrimination, harassment and violence at workplaces
  • working capacity and health and
  • labour market prospects.

Preliminary data is published at the start of the year and the final report in the autumn. The latest working life barometer shows that over the past 15 years, there has been more attention to employees’ skills at workplaces (see figure below).

Research-based information is needed for decision-making

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is involved in research projects producing information about how Finnish working life is developing and how it fares in international comparisons. For example, the international PIAAC survey measuring adult skills in different countries is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture. At the same time, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) produces information about the state of working life in different EU countries. The Ministry is represented in Eurofound’s Governing Board and in this way it can influence the foundation’s research programmes.

Further information:

Antti Närhinen (antti.narhinen(at)
Tiina Hanhike (tiina.hanhike(at)

Erno Mähönen (erno.mahonen(at)

Figure. Development of expertise and skills has been a focus area at the workplace between 1998 and 2014 (%)