How is the rest of the year looking work-wise? How are our members doing? Find out from our latest member survey!

We ran a second Jäsenpulssi survey at the end of August to find out about our members’ work and financial situation, their mood and thoughts about the future. We also asked our members to share their views on the coronavirus situation, the calls for universal earnings-related unemployment security that have grown louder over the summer, as well as our performance. Take a look at the answers!

The majority of the 8,190 members who answered the survey believe that their work situation will remain unchanged, but more than one in three continue to live with uncertainty. Lay-offs, unemployment, irregular contracts and the possibility of having to change jobs are still on our members’ minds as autumn draws closer.

Future plans thrown into turmoil

On the whole, our members still have little optimism about their work prospects. Those who have been laid off are understandably the least certain about the future. On the other hand, our members’ financial situation has, based on the answers, improved slightly since the early summer, which could be a sign of people becoming accustomed to the “new normal”. The uncertain outlook has also prompted many of our members to rethink their future: more and more say that they are thinking about changing jobs, finding a new career or retraining. Could the crisis breed new opportunities?

The fluid situation is keeping many on their toes

“It is hard to tell what will happen. The situation seems stable right now, but with the pandemic evolving around the world, you never know.”

“You have to hope for the best but also be prepared for the worst.”

“Being laid off repeatedly takes its toll, and the risk of unemployment is a constant worry.”

“I fear what will happen in a week when my contract ends. What will I do then?”​​​​​​​

Some members’ jobs are secure for now, others’ less so:

  • Of the respondents, 66% were in full-time employment and 11% were working part-time. A total of 9% had been laid off temporarily, and 13% were out of work.
  • The majority of those working part-time are women, young 18–24-year-olds and people employed by others. Part-time work is especially common in the private social welfare and health care sector, retail, the NGO sector, education and the culture, arts and entertainment industry.
  • Our members who work in the tourism and hospitality industry or in advertising, marketing and communications are the most likely to have been laid off.
  • The highest unemployment figures are among our 55–64-year-old and unskilled members. Unemployment is especially rife in the NGO sector as well as in the culture, arts and entertainment industry. The lowest levels of unemployment are found in the industrial sector, the social welfare and health care sector as well as research, development and consultancy services.
  • Full-time jobs are most often held by men, university graduates and those in consultancy or managerial roles. In terms of different industries, full-time contracts are more common in the ICT sector, the central government, finance, the industrial sector, research, development and consultancy services, the public social welfare and health care sector and construction.

Uncertainty is still evident in our members’ answers:

“It is all so confusing. There are big changes afoot but no one knows what kind.”

“I go from feeling confident about the future one moment to worrying the next.”

“We just have to wait and see what the future holds.”

“I find the Ministry of Finance’s recent statements ominous.”

“My moods are like a roller coaster: up one day and down the next.”

The future looks good for some of our members but extremely uncertain for others

We asked our members how they think their work situation is likely to evolve in the next one to six months.

  • Just over half of the respondents (61%) believe that their jobs are secure for now.
  • However, more than 20% said that their situation remains fluid and uncertain due to irregular contracts or the risk of unemployment.

The respondents’ predictions about their work prospects in the next one to six months were cautious. The majority expect their situation to remain unchanged (whether for the good or for the bad).

  • Our members’ faith in the future has waned somewhat since the spring. Just 15% now foresee an improvement in their job situation, and 14% are braced for tougher times ahead, when more than 20% still believed in a brighter future in the early summer.

Those who have been laid off or lost their job are particularly pessimistic

  • Although those who have been laid off generally expect no change in their situation, they feel less optimistic now than they did in the spring.​​​​​​​
    Only 19% of those who are currently laid off on a part-time basis believe that their situation will get better, when the figure was 30% in the spring. Of those laid off on a full-time basis, 30% now expect things to improve, down from 39% in the spring.
  • The majority of those who are currently unemployed expect to remain unemployed, although approximately one in three foresee an improvement in their circumstances.

Could the crisis breed new opportunities?

We wanted to find out how the coronavirus outbreak has affected our members’ plans for the future in respect of their work and career.

  • The uncertainty has naturally forced many to rethink their plans, although approximately half of the respondents intend to continue as before.
  • Almost half (46%) have at least considered changing careers, retraining or looking for a new job.

Members’ finances and moods improving despite the coronavirus situation

Although the majority of our members who answered the survey (72%) fear that the coronavirus situation in Finland will deteriorate in the autumn, most are still relatively happy with their finances and in fact slightly more secure than in the spring.

  • A total of 77% say that their finances are either healthy or relatively healthy at the moment, up from 71% in early summer. Satisfaction with personal finances is particularly high among university graduates, those who have a full-time job, those who hold high positions and those who work in sectors that have not suffered as much from the pandemic.
  • However, almost one in four (23%) are still struggling financially. In May/June, these respondents accounted for almost one third (29%). The situation is the direst for unskilled workers, those who are unemployed or who have been laid off, students and those in the hardest-hit industries.

Feelings about work largely determined by employment situation

Most of the respondents are happy with their current job situation, and spirits are rising. Job situation is naturally the factor that most affects how our members feel about work: those who are in full-time work or studying are generally the happiest, while those who have been laid off or lost their job are more likely to feel down than up.

  • The majority (72%) feel good or relatively good about their employment situation. The figure was 69% in May/June. The same variables that determine how satisfied our members are with their financial situation also affect how they feel about work: those working in stable industries, those who have a full-time job, those who are university-educated and those who are employed in a consultancy capacity tend to have the most positive outlooks.
  • Those who work in finance, construction, ICT and central government are, on the whole, happier than our other members.
  • Feeling good about work is mostly down to having a sense of security, calm, gratitude and purpose.
  • However, approximately one in three (28%) of our members are still feeling down or somewhat down, same as in early summer (31%). It is understandable that these feelings are common among those who have been laid off, those who are unemployed and those who work in industries that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
  • Job satisfaction is below average among those of our members who work in the culture, arts and entertainment industry, in advertising, marketing and communications, or in the tourism and hospitality industry.
  • Those who have been laid off and those who are unemployed have below-average confidence in their employment prospects. The feelings most associated with employment at the moment are those of uncertainty, anxiety and stress (due to the coronavirus situation).
  • The moods of those of our members who are unemployed and those who have been laid off are along the same lines. Those who have been laid off were still hopeful in the spring, but their spirits have dropped over the summer and the mood among them is now similar to that of the unemployed.

How do our members feel about the prospect of universal earnings-related unemployment security?

The idea of universal earnings-related unemployment security returned to the news in the summer. We wanted to find out what our members think about the concept.

  • The majority of those who answered the survey (62%) are happy with the current system. Many also approve of universal earnings-related unemployment security. However, our members feel that those people who are in employment should still have the right to choose their own insurer.
  • Approximately one in three (32%) believe that all those who work should have earnings-related unemployment security. Most of these respondents (63%) are in favour of compulsory unemployment fund membership, as long as workers can choose which fund to join themselves.
  • Only 10% of all respondents and approximately one third (32%) of those in favour of a universal system agree that the Social Insurance Institution of Finland should be responsible for the payment of universal earnings-related unemployment benefits.

How did we do during the coronavirus outbreak?

The survey also included questions about our performance. The feedback was positive, and most of our members are happy with our services.

About the Jäsenpulssi survey

We followed up on our first Jäsenpulssi survey with a second online survey between 14 and 21 August 2020 and got responses from 8,190 members.

Member surveys are part of our normal customer service and how we care and look after our members. We use the answers and the feedback we get from our members to better anticipate and respond to our members’ needs and to improve our services.