The struggles in the construction industry continue to increase unemployment, particularly among men.

Despite a continued downturn in employment figures, the overall situation remains manageable given the broader economic challenges, according to Pellervo Economic Research (PTT) Senior Economist Henna Busk.

Recent data from Statistics Finland reveals a concerning trend: the number of employed individuals aged 15-74 in April 2024 was 17,000 less than the same period last year, while the number of unemployed increased by 41,000.

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A drone with an integrated payload located at VTT's research facilities.

The European Commission has announced the funding decisions for the 2023 European Defence Fund (EDF) research and development projects, awarding nearly €68 million to Finland's VTT Technical Research Centre. This marks the first time VTT has been granted coordination responsibility for leading two significant projects, while also participating in three additional initiatives.

The EDF's projects aim to enhance the EU's expertise in various defense technologies, including cybersecurity, land, air, and naval combat, space technologies, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense.

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Minister of Defence Antti Häkkänen (NCP) reacted at a news conference in the foyer of the Parliament House in Helsinki on Friday, 17 May 2024. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

A SUBSTANTIAL REVISION to Finland’s military service act is being devised at the request of the Finnish Border Guard.

Helsingin Sanomat last Wednesday revealed that the revision would make it possible to call up reservists to assist in border supervision in circumstances where border security has eroded to the extent that it cannot be upheld by professional border guards.

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LEHTIKUVA

April 2024 saw a notable increase in electricity consumption in Finland, driven by colder-than-average temperatures and a rise in household usage. Despite this surge, the average electricity price actually dropped compared to March, aided by robust wind and hydro power production.

Electricity consumption in April 2024 rose by 5% compared to the same month in 2023.

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Illia Ponomarenko. Photo: Volodymyr Petrov

Over 20 Finnish organizations have voiced strong criticism of the World Village Festival, set to take place on May 25-26, due to the inclusion of a controversial far-right speaker. The groups demand that the festival cancel the appearance of Illia Ponomarenko, a Ukrainian journalist whose past associations have sparked significant concern.

Illia Ponomarenko, sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is known for his reporting on Russia's war against Ukraine.

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A new decree, effective April 2024, has been issued to clarify the health and safety protections for pregnant workers in Finland. However, the criteria for granting special pregnancy allowance by Kela remain unchanged.

On April 5, 2024, the Finnish Government issued a decree aimed at protecting workers who are pregnant, have recently given birth, or are breastfeeding from workplace hazards.

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Minister of Social Security Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP) was photographed during a plenary session in the Finnish Parliament on 24 April 2024. Grahn-Laasonen told Helsingin Sanomat on Friday that the government has begun work on what would be a historic overhaul of the social security system – the replacement of several benefits with a universal allowance. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) has begun work on a major overhaul of the social security system in Finland.

Helsingin Sanomat on Friday reported that the reform is aimed at combining a number of social security benefits into what is provisionally called a universal allowance to establish a system that is clearer and offers better work incentives for recipients.

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LEHTIKUVA

The latest report from the European Migration Network (EMN) reveals a consistent rise in the number of skilled immigrants and their families relocating to Finland. The EMN Annual Report 2023, coordinated by the European Commission and compiled by the Finnish Immigration Service, highlights several key trends in migration to Finland.

Despite a slight decrease in first work-based residence permits in 2023 compared to the previous year (15,081 in 2023, down from 16,081 in 2022),

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Photo: Mari Sahlstén

Starting June 3, Helsinki residents can earn money by removing invasive plant species such as lupines and Himalayan balsam through a new mobile game called Crowdsorsa. This initiative aims to protect the city's biodiversity by crowd-sourcing efforts to tackle these harmful plants.

The Crowdsorsa mobile game, available for download on smartphones, invites everyone to participate in this environmental mission.

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A doctor examines a patient in the pediatric and adolescent emergency department at the Lighthouse Hospital of Turku University Hospital (Tyks) on February 15, 2024. LEHTIKUVA

The Finnish Medical Association (Lääkäriliitto) has raised alarm over recent government budget decisions, warning that substantial cuts to public healthcare funding and increased reliance on private healthcare subsidies could severely undermine the nation’s public health system.

The government’s budget plan includes a €550 million reduction in funding for welfare regions by 2028.

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