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This year's first Jäsenpulssi: hope for the better prevails in the midst of the coronavirus situation

We ran another Jäsenpulssi survey to find out about our members’ work and financial situation, their mood and thoughts about the future. We also asked about the desire to change sectors and the impact of the coronavirus times on the workload and intensity of work. The survey was conducted between 15 and 27 January 2021 and we received over 14 000 responses. A big thank you to everyone!

The results indicate that, in the midst of the difficult and uncertain coronavirus situation, optimism is arising in many of the sectors affected by the epidemic. In the same sectors, however, many also fear a deterioration in the current job situation, which suggests continued uncertainty due to, among other things, new virus conversions and restrictive measures.

Belief in improving the work situation strongest for laid-off individuals

In our newest Jäsenpulssi survey, we asked for an assessment of the development of the personal work situation in the coming 1–6 months. The most optimistic of the respondents were those who have been completely laid off. 48 % of them believe that their work situation will improve over the next six months. 10 % of those who have been fully laid off believe that their situation will deteriorate and 42 % believe it will remain unchanged.

  • 17 % of all respondents believe that their own work situation will improve. 74% believed it would remain the same and 8% believed it would weaken.
  • Of the total unemployed, 37 % believe that their work situation will improve, 53 % believe it will remain the same and 10 % believe it will deteriorate.
  • Of those laid off part-time, 32 % believe their situation will improve, 55 % believe it will remain the same and 12 % believe will deteriorate.

The construction sector has confidence that work situation will improve

Those working in the construction industry and professionals in the tourism, accommodation and restaurant sectors believe more strongly than other respondents that their own work situation will improve in the coming 1–6 months. The construction industry shows the strongest belief in a good future, where 29 % of respondents believe that the work situation will improve in the coming months and only 9 % believe it will deteriorate.

- In the construction industry, winter is typically a slightly quieter time. Even though there is still some winter ahead of us, we are heading towards spring. This surely partly explains the positive attitude. Apparently, however, it is not seen that the coronavirus situation is affecting future jobs in such a big way that it would now be reflected in the expectations of the industry's operators. Such a outlook also increases optimism at our unemployment fund, says Senior Specialist at YTK, Petja Eklund.

In the tourism, accommodation and restaurant sectors, faith in a favourable development is almost as high (27 %). However, the attitude is slightly more divided, as 12 % of respondents working in the sector believe that the situation is deteriorating. 23 % of respondents working in the culture, art and entertainment sector believe in a favourable and 13 % believe in a deteriorating work situation.

- There is a belief in the future in the hospitality and culture sector, but overall it is more cautious than in the construction industry, for example. This is probably explained by the persistent coronavirus situation, which in these sectors prolongs and also increases restrictions, Eklund reflects.

The workload of the coronavirus period is particularly visible in health care, the financial sector and in the government

The coronavirus epidemic has polarised the Finnish working life. Tens of thousands of jobs have been interrupted by layoffs or unemployment, but many workplaces have been working long hours. We asked about the desire to change sectors and the impact of the coronavirus times on the workload and intensity of work.

In terms of increased workload, the sectoral results are not particularly surprising. The workload has grown the most in the social and health care sector. 60 % of those working in public health and social services feel that their workload has increased. The second largest increase in workload has been in banking, insurance or finance operations (51%). 49 % of those working in private health and social services feel that their workload has increased.

Although the coronavirus epidemic has brought a significant amount of layoffs, few sectors feel that it has reduced the workload. Exceptions include the tourism, accommodation and restaurant sector, which has suffered severely from the corona restrictions, where 23 % of those working in it feel that their workload has been lowered.

In addition to the workload, we asked about the impact of the work on the coping with work during the coronavirus period. The results were encouraging: despite the difficult situation, coping at work is at a good level. Only people under the age of 35 are less able to cope than others.

Coping at work is weaker than in others in the sectors of public health and social services, ICT, advertising, marketing and communications, as well as culture, arts, entertainment and entertainment. In the public health and social services sector, coping is weakened especially by the high workload, in the cultural, arts and entertainment sectors it is the weakened workload and the difficulty of pursuing one's own profession.

According to our survey, the impact of the exceptional arrangements during the coronavirus pandemic is considered to be the most difficult precisely in the field of culture. 51 % of respondents in the cultural, arts and entertainment sectors feel that the effects of exceptional circumstances are negative. Similarly, 50 % of those working in tourism, accommodation and restaurant operations experience the same.

The government, banks and the insurance sector have been best affected by the exceptional arrangements: 33 % of respondents working both in government service and in the banking, insurance and financial sectors consider the impact of the arrangements positive. The beneficial effects of the exceptional arrangements seem to be piling up in areas where remote working is possible and where the coronavirus epidemic has not caused extensive layoffs or redundancies.

The commercial sector is of interest to people wanting to change their work sector

We also asked about the desire to change their area of work. 30 % of all respondents are planning to change to another sector during their working life. Intentions to change sectors are highest among persons aged under 35 (52 %) and higher academic graduates (36 %).

Organisations and associations are highlighted among people who are considering to change their work sector, with up to 41 % of respondents are planning to change sectors during their working life. For people working in advertising and marketing (39 %) and those working in the tourism, hospitality and restaurant sector (38 %), the desire to change sectors is almost equally high. In the ICT sector, the desire to switch is the lowest (23 %), which is explained by the good working situation and wage level in the sector.

Respondents were also asked which sector they intend to switch to. The distribution of the pulling sectors was fairly even, but the commercial sector became the most attractive: 13 % of those considering changing sectors believe that they will find employment in the commercial sector. Other services for business (9 %) and the education sector (8 %) were the next most popular sectors when it comes to changing the work field.

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