Tuesday. 26.09.2023

March, the month in which the world was hit by the coronavirus epidemic, has been a disaster for employment.

According to the latest official figures, at the end of March 309,100 unemployed jobseekers were registered at the Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE-offices), showing a year-on-year increase of 70,700. The number of unemployed jobseekers increased by 60,900 from the previous month.

These figures are from the latest Employment bulletin of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The Government is very clear who is to blame for all this job destruction: "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," says the Ministry of Economic Affairs in a press release.

74,000 people laid off

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 totaled 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.

Unemployment has also hit all age groups. The number of unemployed jobseekers aged over 50 was 107,300, representing an increase of 16,700 on the year before. And those aged under 25 amounted to 41,100, representing an increase of 11,600 from March last year.

Decrease in number of new vacancies

The number of new vacancies reported to Employment and Economic Development Offices during March totaled 63,500; down 9,900 from March a year earlier. In all, the number of unfilled vacancies at TE-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.

Unemployment rate grew

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 2019. 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.

The data provided in this article is based in two different sources: 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. For this reason, number may seem not matching.

In the Ministry’s Employment Service Statistics, people that are not in an employment relationship or employed in business are listed as unemployed. And those fully laid-off but not full-time students are also categorised as unemployed. 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.

Number of unemployed jobseekers grew by 69,900 in one month