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Decrease in unemployment rate slowed in late summer

The decrease in unemployment rate has slowed, but the number of applications in September seems promising. The labour markets are the liveliest in Southern Finland, Ostrobothnia and Savo.

The decrease in unemployment rate has slowed compared to the positive development in spring and early summer. The unemployment rate among the members of General Unemployment Fund YTK was 8.3% in August. The figure for July stood at 8.1%.

“Our unemployment rate decreased without interruptions from March to July. From July to August the unemployment increased slightly. On the other hand, the number of applications in mid-September was below the August level. That indicates that the decrease in unemployment would continue in September”, says Paula Virri, acting Managing Director of YTK.

No more slack in the decrease in employment rate

In September, YTK has received very little applications due to a beginning lay-off, only about 250. At the worst time, the lay-off applications due to the coronavirus crisis numbered over 6,000 in one month. The time of layoffs seems to be coming to an end.

”The decrease in the unemployment rate is mainly caused by the laid off employees returning to work. What remains is the unemployed people who have no job to return to. There is no more slack in the decrease in employment rate, and from now on we need the jobs and employees to find each other”, Paula Virri says.

The unemployment rate often increases towards the end of the year compared with the figures for August. The unemployment rate may rise to nearly 10% by the end of the year unless the unemployed people start finding jobs.

”It remains to be seen whether economic growth can act as an engine for employment or whether the current unemployment rate will persist. Will growth emerge by pull of technology without new employees?” Paula Virri contemplates.

Kuopio on the path to success, persistent unemployment in Lapland and Karelia

Rovaniemi (11.0%) and Pori (10.5%) are the large and medium-sized cities with the highest unemployment rate among the members of YTK. Kuopio (6.6%), Seinäjoki (6.7%) and Espoo (6.7%) in turn are the cities with the lowest unemployment rate.

Of the provinces, Lapland (13.4%), North Karelia (10.9%) and South Karelia (10.9%) suffer from the deepest unemployment. On the other hand, in all of those the figures are much smaller compared to spring. The unemployment rate in Lapland, for instance, has decreased by 6.3 percentage points from March.

“During the coronavirus crisis the whole country suffered from severe unemployment. Now we are beginning to get out of the crisis, and the labour market is functioning especially in the south along the national main railway line. The unemployment rate is also low in the Kuopio region, which refers to a positive employment situation. The west coast outside Ostrobothnia as well as eastern and northern parts of the country are taking more time to recover”, Paula Virri says.