One year after the outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the number of unemployed seeking work remains very high.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, at the end of February 327,100 people were registered as unemployed jobseekers at the Finnish Employment and Economic Development Offices. This was 79,000 more than a year earlier. This number also includes those fully laid off.
However, the number of unemployed jobseekers was down by 5,700 from the previous month.
The long-term unemployed and people over 50 years of age are being particularly affected by this year-on-year increase in unemployment caused by the coronavirus restrictions on economic activity.
The Government's latest Employment Bulletin also shows that the number of long-term unemployed —that is those who had been unemployed without interruption for at least a year— amounted to 96,100, up 32,900 on the previous year. And the number of unemployed jobseekers aged over 50 was 120,000, representing an increase of 26,500 on the year before.
The situation is somewhat less complicated for the youngest, although it is taking them more and more time to find work. The number of unemployed jobseekers aged under 25 was 38,800, representing an increase of 9,100 from February last year. Among unemployed young people, the period of unemployment ended within three months on average in 51.7% of cases between January and February, which is 12.3 percentage points less than the year before.
Increase in new vacancies
The number of new vacancies reported to Employment and Economic Development Offices during February totalled 78,700, or 5,100 more than in February the previous year. In all, the number of unfilled vacancies at Employment and Economic Development Offices in February amounted to 160,600, showing a decrease of 3,900 from last year.
According to the Labour Force Survey issued by Statistics Finland, in February the number of people in employment was 6,000 less than on the previous year. The unemployment rate was 8.1%, or 1.2 percentage points higher than the previous year.
To understand the key differences between the two unemployed-counting methods and their results, it is important to know that 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.