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Working conditions barometer: Wage-earners' work ability remains at a good level

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
18.2.2016 9.30
Press release

Approximately 90 per cent of all wage-earners report a very good or fairly good work ability. In the long-term, employers' own assessments of their work ability have improved. On the other hand, negative outlooks in the labour market have prevailed five consecutive years. Haste also stresses employees.

The data is indicated in the preliminary results of the 2015 working conditions barometer, released by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on 18 February 2016. The barometer describes changes in the quality of working life from the wage-earners' perspective.

Brisk reorganisation in workplaces

In 2015, about half of wage-earners told that tasks had been reorganised in their own workplace or new working methods or ICT systems had been introduced in the course of the year. Each of these changes had affected about one third.

This was the first time that the respondents were asked to tell if there is enough time at work to innovate and to adopt new ideas. About 40 per cent of the respondents felt that there is often or fairly often time to think of new ideas at work, while 35 per cent of them reported that they had time for that every now and then. One fifth of the respondents had seldom time for brainstorming.

Learning new things is common

The majority of wage-earners consider that their workplace gives opportunities for learning new things all the time. In 2015, one third of them were of the opinion that this description suits their workplace very well and nearly half of them said that it describes their workplace fairly well. However, one fifth thought that there are hardly ever opportunities for learning at work.

54 per cent of employees took part in training financed by the employer. The approximate number of training days per year was four. The majority of wage-earners estimated that training has helped them to cope at work better. As far as training is concerned, Finland is among the top performers in the EU.

Haste and insecurity as stressors

Close to every third wage-earner worked to tight deadlines or at a high pace  very often and this was fairly common for nearly 40 per cent of them.

Negative views of developments in the employment situation and in the economic situation of the  workplace have prevailed since 2010. In 2015, approximately every tenth wage-earner estimated that they could face termination of their own employment relationship the following year, and 16 per cent considered becoming temporarily laid off possible.

The barometer has been prepared every autumn since 1992. The data are based on interviews among wage-earners, made by Statistics Finland in connection with its Labour Force Survey.

A report of the preliminary results can be accessed on the website of the Ministry of Employment and Economy at: (in Finnish). A more comprehensive publication of the results of the barometer will be issued later.


Maija Lyly-Yrjänäinen, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 29 504 7109

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