Tuesday. 26.09.2023

23.7% of the foreign workforce is unemployed

70.4% of the men and women who make up the foreign workforce live in three Finnish regions. Swedish-speaking Åland archipelago is the area with the lowest percentage of unemployment among immigrants.

Brainstorming meeting work interview by Pexels
Two workers with different origins, during a brainstorming meeting. Photo: Nappy from Pexels.

In Finland, the workforce of foreign origin was composed at the end of June 2019 by 124,396 people spread across the country, according to Statistics Finland data. Of those men and women, 29,504 (or 23.7%) were unemployed and actively seeking employment at the end of the first half of the year.

The data from the Finnish statistical office show to what extent foreign job seekers have to face more difficulties to find jobs. The unemployment rate for the Finnish economy as a whole was 6.2% at the end of June. In other words, the percentage of immigrants who want to work but cannot do it is almost four times that of the total population.

Of the total foreign workers, 70.4% live concentrated in only three provinces of Finland: Uusimaa or the Helsinki region (70,101 foreign workers), Southwest Finland or Turku and surroundings (10,103 foreign workers) and Pirkanmaa or the Tampere area (7,378 foreign workers).

Foreign-workforce-by-regionSource: Statistics Finland.

The region of the country with the lowest number of foreign workers is the northeastern Kainuu (the Kajaani area), where only 544 immigrant workers live. A number even lower than in Åland (1,808).

Highest rate of unemployed foreigners

Surprisingly, none of the areas mentioned above suffer from higher unemployment among immigrants. In relative terms, the region with the highest percentage of unemployed job seekers of the foreign workforce is North Karelia, whose capital is the city of Joensuu, where 700 of the 1,694 persons that make up its immigrant labor force (or 41.3%) are in search for an occupation.

The region with the second highest unemployment rate among foreigners is the southeastern Kymenlaakso (Kotka region), where 1,073 of the 3,032 foreign workers (35.4%) suffer unemployment. In third place comes Päijät-Hame (Lahti and its surrounding towns and villages), which has 1,093 jobless immigrants (34.3% of its 3,188 foreign workers).

On the contrary, the Finnish region with the lowest unemployment among foreigners (9.5%) is the Åland archipelago. Only 172 of the 1,808 immigrant workers living in these islands of Swedish language and culture are unemployed. The second in the ranking is Satakunta, whose capital is the city of Pori. There, just 595 of the 3,148 workers of foreign origin are unemployed (18.9%). Still, this unemployment rate triples the whole country's average.

23.7% of the foreign workforce is unemployed