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Finland's job vacancy rate nearly halved amid Covid-19 restrictions

In the second quarter, the country's job vacancy rate fell to 1.5%, down from 2.8% in the previous quarter.
Finland's job vacancy rate nearly halved amid Covid-19 restrictions

Finland's economy has far fewer jobs available than before the coronavirus crisis broke out.

In the second quarter of 2020, when Covid-19 containment measures have been widely implemented, Finland's job vacancy rate fell to 1.5%, down from 2.8% in the previous quarter, according to the figures released by Eurostat.

The Finnish economy recorded a GDP collapse of 6.4% year-on-year in the second quarter. However, the announcements of massive dismissals (like those made by Finnair) and production plant closures (the UPM paper mill in Jämsä or the Neste refinery in Naantali) that recently shocked the country had not yet started.

But employers had already begun to back down when it came to looking for labor.

According to Eurostat's data, in Finland the drop in the job vacancy rate was especially important in the main sector of construction and industry: It fell to 0.9% in the second quarter, from 2.3% in the first quarter. In the services sector, the drop was also high, from 3.5% in the first quarter to 1.9% in the second quarter.

Job-vacancy-rates-2q-2020-by-Eurostat

Source: Eurostat

EU and euro area

Across the European Union (EU) member states, the job vacancy rate fell to 1.6%, down from 1.9% in the previous quarter, both in the euro area and in the EU. Overall figures show that the decline in Finland was more pronounced than the European average.

Among the member sates for which comparable data are available, the highest job vacancy rates in the second quarter of 2020 were recorded in Czechia (5.4%), Belgium (3.1%) and Austria (2.6%).

In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Greece (0.3%), as well as in Ireland, Spain, Poland, Portugal and Romania (all 0.7%). However, those countries already had very low rates in the first quarter and none recorded such high drops.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the job vacancy rate fell in 25 member-states, remained stable in Bulgaria and increased in France (by 0.1 percentage points). The largest decreases were registered in Malta (-1.6 pp), Germany (-1.2 pp), Latvia and the Netherlands (both -1 pp).

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