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The Labour Market in Finland

Current Climate: April 2021 figures, and outlook for 2nd Quarter 2021
The Finnish labour market shows signs of improvement compared to one year ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic is coming under control. Most aspects are more positive than one year previously, but still in poor shape compared to pre-COVID 2019.

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.

Unemployment:
Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey for April 2021 reports the number of unemployed persons was 244,000, which was 30,000 more than April 2020. The unemployment rate was 9.0%, up 1.0% from April 2020. The number of employed persons was 2,475,000, which was 29,000 more than a year earlier.
Inactive Population: There were 1,404,000 persons aged 15 to 74 in the inactive population in April 2021, which was 69,000 fewer than one year earlier.
Source: Statistics Finland 2021

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment Employment Bulletin for April 2021 reported 318,400 unemployed jobseekers in April 2021; this is 114,600 less than a year earlier, but 88,800 more than in April two years' previously. They accounted for 12.1% of the labour force, which is 4.4% less than a year before.
Long-term Unemployment: The Ministry's figures show 109,700 people out of work for a year or more, an increase of 42,300 from the year before.
Education Levels: Unemployment decreased at all levels of education. The decrease was greatest among those with lower­degree level tertiary education, post­secondary non­tertiary education, lowest level of tertiary education, and higher­degree level tertiary education. Unemployment fell the least among those with higher level basic qualifications, and doctorate or equivalent level tertiary education.
Unemployed Foreigners: The Ministry reports that among unemployed jobseekers, foreign citizens totalled 34,800. This figure is down 5,700 from the previous year. Of the foreign unemployed jobseekers, EU/EEA citizens accounted for 11,400, down 1,900 from the year before.
Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment  Employment Bulletin: April 2021
Alternative Download: VALTO: Institutional Repository for the Government Search Employment Bulletin

Employment Outlook:
ManpowerGroup has conducted its Employment Outlook Survey for Finland, Second Quarter 2021, in which a representative sample of Finnish employers were surveyed about prospects for the upcoming three months. Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19, and findings reflect the impact of the global health emergency.

Finnish employers report modest hiring intentions for the second quarter of 2021. With 11% of employers forecasting an increase in payrolls, 5% anticipating a decrease and 76% expecting no change, the resulting Net Employment Outlook is +6%. Adjusted for seasonal variation, the Outlook stands at -2%. Hiring sentiment weakens by 4% compared with the previous quarter, and declines by 7% compared to one year previously.

Second Quarter 2021 staffing levels are expected to decrease in 4 out of 7 industry sectors compared to the previous quarter. The weakest labour markets are anticipated in the Construction sector and Other Services sector. The Manufacturing, Finance & Business Services, and Restaurants & Hotels have a stable-to-positive Outlook. Regionally, an increase in payrolls is anticipated in two of four regions, with Eastern and Northern Finland anticipating the strongest growth with net employment outlooks of +6% and +3% respectively. In Western Finland the outlook is 0% and in Southern Finland the outlook is -4%. Compared with one year previously, Southern Finland employers report a considerable decline of 14%, while the Western Finland Outlook decreases by 2%. However, Eastern Finland employers report a slight improvement of 2%, while the Outlook in Northern Finland remains relatively stable.
Source: ManpowerGroup > Country & Territory Insights

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.
Source: thisisFINLAND

Qualifications
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

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