A client outside a TE Office in Pasila, Helsinki, in August 2021. Employment in Finland will continue to increase in the coming years but not at the rate witnessed recently, forecasts the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)


EMPLOYMENT in Finland will continue to grow in the coming years but at a slower rate than seen recently, indicates a short-term labour market forecast published on Wednesday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The ministry expects the employment rate to settle at 73.6 per cent for this and next year before rising by 0.4 percentage points to 74.0 per cent in 2024.

TE Offices, it views, will simultaneously witness a decline in the number of registered job seekers.

One factor affecting the labour market situation is the integration of refugees from Ukraine, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The refugees will start being incorporated into official employment and unemployment statistics as of next year once they have the right to a home municipality in Finland.

Around 30,000 Ukrainians of working age have been granted temporary protection Finland. Some of them have already registered as unemployed job seekers, but the number is expected to grow by roughly a thousand each month.

Elina Pylkkänen, a state undersecretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, said the Ukrainians are providing a much-needed injection of labour. Channelling skilled labour to employers struggling with labour supply issues, she added, will test the effectiveness of the Finnish education and employment services systems.

It remains difficult to estimate how many of them will remain in the country and the labour force, Minna Ylikännö, a special expert at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, said at a press conference in Helsinki on Wednesday. The short-term forecast is based on the assumption that roughly 5,000 Ukrainians move into the labour market.

“When you think about the population structure, there’d be a lot more room for labour and working-age people in our country,” she was quoted saying by STT.

While the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment expects the labour supply issues to ease, they will not disappear entirely. Pylkkänen revealed that the ministry believes the issues have resulted in the non-realisation of 130,000 new employment relationships in the past years.

“All of this is economic growth we lost,” she added.

Older age groups are expected to mitigate the situation slightly, given that employment among 65–74-year-olds is set to continue rising. The employment rate for the age group stands presently at roughly 14 per cent.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT