The latest order backlog and personnel survey by Teknologiateollisuus ry has shown that the growth of the technology industry has stalled, while the demand for skilled workers remains strong. Although the order backlog has remained at a good level, the development of production volumes in the entire manufacturing industry in Finland has stagnated. The decline in demand in the technology industry is expected to slow down or even stop altogether this year, according to the survey.
The survey indicates that new orders in the technology industry were 13% lower in the first quarter of this year than in the previous quarter, but 12% higher than in the same period last year. The value of the order backlog has also been boosted by the high producer prices. In the largest industry sector, the machine and metal product industry, the value of new orders was 11% lower in the first quarter than in the previous quarter, and 6% lower than in the same period last year.
The balance figure for the entire technology industry's requests for tenders was -13 in April, compared to -12 in January. This balance figure has deteriorated for seven consecutive quarters. Despite the weakening demand, the downward trend has been moderate so far.
The number of employees in the technology industry in Finland was about 1% higher at the end of March than at the end of December. At the end of March, there were about 340,000 employees in the industry, and about 8,000 employees were still in layoff arrangements. However, the recruitment of new employees was still strong, with a total of 13,400 hires made in the first quarter.
According to a broad survey of the need for skilled workers, the technology industry will need 130,000 new skilled workers in the next ten years, of which 60% will require higher education qualifications. Petteri Rautaporras, Director and Chief Economist of Teknologiateollisuus, said that the need for skilled workers is intense and that companies have been hiring new employees strongly, despite the current economic situation. Companies are now preparing for the geopolitical risks that may bring considerable uncertainty to the global economy and the industry.
In summary, while the growth of the technology industry has stalled, the need for skilled workers remains strong. The declining trend in demand has been moderate, and the order backlog has remained at a good level. Companies are hiring new employees strongly, and the need for skilled workers is expected to remain intense in the future. However, the industry is preparing for the possible geopolitical risks that may bring uncertainty to the global economy and the industry.
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