Finland has been one of the countries least hit by the coronavirus epidemic in health terms. But the economic cost for companies and the working class is being brutal and the consequences of the damage will still be felt during this year and next.
On 2 June, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment published a labour market forecast until 2023. The study - which comes twice a year - is based on the assumption that the restrictions on mobility and business activities can be lifted by autumn. Even so, Still, the study tells many Finnish residents that they have a difficult year and a half ahead of them.
According to the forecast, the progress made in the vaccination process against Covid-19 and the improved epidemiological situation allowed demand for labour to increase. However, reaching pre-pandemic levels will be a slow process and will not be without problems.
The European Union (EU), in its forecasts, has identified Finland as one of the countries that will take the longest to return to economic normality.
The Finnish government´s forecast says "the employment rate will surpass the preepidemic level in 2023, but the number of unemployed jobseekers will remain above the level preceding the epidemic."
If the forecasts are met, which are supposed to be optimistic coming from the Government, the employment rate will rise to 71.2% this year and to 71.8% next year, thereby surpassing the level preceding the epidemic. The number of people employed is estimated to total 2.53 million in 2023.
Unemployment rate to remain high
Finland’s unemployment rate is forecast to remain at 7.7% this year as those outside of the labour force will begin to look for work. As more unemployed people find work, the rate is expected to fall to 7.3% in 2022 and to 6.7% in 2023.
The government expects that the number of registered unemployed jobseekers in the Employment Service Statistics will begin to fall in 2021 as coronavirus-related restrictions are gradually lifted. In 2022 and 2023, their number will continue to decrease, but will remain at a higher level than before the epidemic.
"The average number of unemployed jobseekers will be 318,000 in 2021, 284,000 in 2022 and 267,000 in 2023," the forecast says.
The number of long-term unemployed is forecast to rise to 111,000 during 2021 and peak at 115,000 in early 2022, after which it is projected to fall as a result of the expected positive trend in the employment. According to the forecast in 2023 there will be 100,000 long-term unemployed people in Finland.