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A photo dated 12 June 2014 showing downtown Kajaani, the capital of Kainuu. The region has the lowest wages in Finland, according to the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla).
A photo dated 12 June 2014 showing downtown Kajaani, the capital of Kainuu. The region has the lowest wages in Finland, according to the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla).

 

Regional economic inequalities have decreased in Finland, according to the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla).

Etla on Monday reported that its study of changes in wages, output, productivity and employment rate found that regional differences in productivity, employment rate and per-capita output decreased between 2000 and 2015. Regional wage differences, on the other hand, widened over the 15-year period.

“The results portray a very interesting picture,” views Paolo Fornaro, a researcher at Etla. “It is positive that the financial standing of and inequalities between regions have decreased, but the wage disparities can become a problem in the long term.”

Fornaro estimates that migration flows are one reason for the decreasing regional inequalities.

Etla revealed that wages were the highest in Uusimaa and the lowest in Kainuu in both 2000 and 2015. Similar disparities were found in per-capita output, which was 30 per cent higher in Uusimaa and 30 per cent lower in Kainuu than the average in the EU15 in 2015. The EU 15 consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Kainuu, however, had a higher employment rate than its productivity might suggest, acknowledged Etla.

Timo Aro, an independent population researcher, stated last year in an interview with Talouselämä that medium-sized cities in the regions are no longer able to compete against larger population centres for skilled employees. “This is a new phenomenon,” he added.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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