The Labour Market in Finland
Current Climate: February 2018 figures, and outlook for 2nd Quarter 2018
The Finnish labour market shows positive signs in almost every respect. Unemployment has fallen, including the amount of people in long-term and disguised unemployment, and at all education levels. Payroll increases are anticipated in three of four Finnish regions, and 8 of 10 industry sectors.
Data Sources: Reported unemployment figures can vary significantly. Unemployment in Finland is monitored through two different monthly statistics; the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment compiles its data from actual jobseekers registered with local employment offices, while Statistics Finland bases its findings on statistical samples.
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey for February 2018 reports the number of unemployed persons was 233,000, which was 9,000 fewer than February 2017. The unemployment rate was 8.6%, down from 9.2% in February 2017.
Disguised Unemployment: The amount of people who, primarily, would like to work but have abandoned the search for work, decreased. In February 2018 the number was 147,000, a 7.6% decrease on the figure of 159,000 for February 2017.
Source: Statistics Finland 2018
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment Employment Bulletin for February 2018 reported 276,200 unemployed jobseekers in February 2018, 56,000 less than a year earlier. They accounted for 10.5% of the labour force, which is 2.1% less than a year before.
Long-term Unemployment: The Ministry's figures show 86,500 people out of work for a year or more, a decrease of 30,800 from the year before.
Education Levels: Unemployment decreased at all levels of education. The decrease was greatest among those with lower level basic qualifications, down 27% on February 2017. Decreases were also substantial among those with higherdegree level tertiary education (21%), lowest level of tertiary education (19%), and lowerdegree level tertiary education (19%). Encouragingly, unemployment also continued to fall among those with higher education, including doctorate or equivalent level tertiary education.
Unemployed Foreigners: The Ministry reports that among unemployed jobseekers, foreign citizens totalled 26,500. This figure is down 4,400 from the previous year. Of the foreign unemployed jobseekers, EU/EEA citizens accounted for 8,300, down 1,200 from the year before.
Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment Employment Bulletin: February 2018
Alternative Download: VALTO: Institutional Repository for the Government Search Employment Bulletin
ManpowerGroup has conducted its Employment Outlook Survey for Finland, Second Quarter 2018, in which a representative sample of Finnish employers were surveyed about prospects for the upcoming three months. Adjusted for seasonal variation, employers reported the strongest hiring intentions since the Manpower Survey started five years ago.
Finnish employers report favourable hiring prospects for the next three months, with 22% of employers expecting to increase staffing levels, 6% anticipating a decrease and 72% forecasting no change. The net employment outlook improves by 6% in comparison with Q2 2017.
Second Quarter 2018 staffing levels are expected to increase in 8 out of 10 industry sectors. The strongest labour market is anticipated in the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate & Business Services sectors. Regionally, an increase in payrolls is anticipated in Northern, Southern, and Eastern Finland. Northern Finland anticipates the strongest growth with a sharp improvement of 21% compared to the previous quarter, while a net outlook of -2% in Western Finland reflects uncertain hiring intentions.
Source: ManpowerGroup > Workforce Insights > Manpower Employment Outlook Survey
Issues for Foreign Job-Seekers
In this employment climate anyone hoping to find work in Finland has to expect a challenge. Additionally, foreign job-seekers should be prepared to address the following issues:
Finnish Language Skills
The biggest and most important issue for a foreigner is usually language. There are very few jobs where it is possible to work without knowing any Finnish, and for reasons of occupational safety alone it is vital to be able to communicate. Local authorities, universities and and many employers provide immigrants and their families with language training, either free or at very low cost. The level of Finnish skills necessary for a job depends greatly on the nature of the work, but on average six months of intensive language training should provide enough skill in Finnish to get by at the average workplace.
Finland sets great value on vocational training, and statutory (official) qualification requirements exist in many fields and positions. If you intend to work in Finland using a qualification gained outside Finland, it is essential that you check in advance that your foreign qualification is officially accepted in Finland.
What's the Alternative?
If you have the right to do so, starting your own business in Finland is definitely worth considering rather than fighting in an increasingly competitive job market. All you need is motivation and something saleable; the process for establishing a business is easy. Plus, if you are unable to speak Finnish but can speak English or Swedish, the language barrier referred to above is significantly reduced.
See Also: Entrepreneurship and
Becoming an Entrepreneur in Finland PDF