Sharp increase in the number of unemployed jobseekers in March

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 23.4.2020 8.14
Press release

A total of 309,100 unemployed jobseekers were registered at the Employment and Economic Development Offices at the end of March, showing a year-on-year increase of 70,700. The number of unemployed jobseekers increased by 60,900 from the previous month. The rapid increase in the number of unemployed jobseekers and particularly in the number of full-time lay-offs was due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. These figures are from the Employment Bulletin of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

At the end of March, the number of people laid off was 74,000 in the whole country; a year-on-year increase of 53,200. The number of people fully laid off totalled 65,300, representing an increase of 50,400 from March the year before.

The number of long-term unemployed — that is those who had been unemployed without interruption for more than a year — amounted to 64,900, up 1,200 on the previous year. The number of unemployed jobseekers aged over 50 was 107,300, representing an increase of 16,700 on the year before.

The number of unemployed jobseekers aged under 25 was 41,100, representing an increase of 11,600 from March last year. Among unemployed young people, the period of unemployment ended within three months on average in 65.2% of cases between January and March, which is 0.8 percentage points more than the year before.

Decrease in number of new vacancies

The number of new vacancies reported to Employment and Economic Development Offices during March totalled 63,500; down 9,900 from March a year earlier. In all, the number of unfilled vacancies at Employment and Economic Development Offices in March amounted to 149,900, showing a decrease of 18,600 from last year.

At the end of March, the number of persons covered by services included in the activation rate amounted to 119,200, down 10,700 on the previous year. These services include pay subsidies, labour market training, work trials and self-motivated studies.

Statistics Finland: Unemployment rate 7.3%

According to the Labour Force Survey issued by Statistics Finland, in March the number of people in employment was 21,000 less than on the previous year. The employment rate was 71.3%, which was 0.5 percentage points lower than in March the year before. According to the Survey, the unemployment total was 197,000, which is 6,000 more than a year ago. The unemployment rate was 7.3%, or 0.3 percentage points higher than the previous year.

Key differences between Employment Service Statistics and the Labour Force Survey

This information is based on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s Employment Service Statistics and the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland. The Employment Service Statistics of the Ministry are compiled on the basis of the information in the Employment and Economic Development Offices’ customer register, while the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland is based on sampling.

In the Ministry’s Employment Service Statistics, people that are not in an employment relationship or employed in business are listed as unemployed. Persons fully laid-off but not full-time students are also categorised as unemployed in the Employment Service Statistics. The Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland has a stricter definition for being unemployed: a person is unemployed if he or she has actively sought employment during the preceding four weeks and is available for work over the coming two weeks. The figures of the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Finland are internationally comparable and thus they are the official Finnish unemployment statistics.

Further information on the differences between the statistics: https://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/tyti_2016-08-23_men_001_en.html

Inquiries:
Petri Syvänen, Ministerial adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 8050