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Views on the unemployed in online conversations need updating

A joint study by YTK and DrAI revealed that there are a lot of unfounded negative perceptions on the unemployed in Twitter conversations. We are determined to work on changing attitudes.

Helsingin Sanomat published a report on our study on Saturday, 3 April, in which we surveyed the attitudes of Finnish Twitter debaters towards unemployment.

The study was carried out together with DrAI, a research company that conducts AI-based analysis, and tens of thousands of Finnish Twitter messages from 2006 to 2021 were analysed for this purpose. The study revealed that almost one in two Twitter debaters considered unemployment to be the unemployed person's own fault.

"I have to say, the results were disappointing to us. The unemployed are still referred to in many online debates with pejoratives such as lazy and loser. At the same time, we see in our daily work how active and competent job-seeking people are. There is a really strong need for work to change perceptions", says Ilona Kangas, Director of Customer Relations and Communications at YTK.

The coronavirus crisis has reminded us that almost any one of us can become unemployed through no fault of their own. YTK aims to see the unemployed as valuable members of society: not as the “others”, but as one of us. This year, we will therefore be actively discussing how attitudes towards unemployment can be updated.

You can read the research material here.