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YTK barometer: in May, the unemployment rate finally fell below 10%

In May, the unemployment rate among our members fell lower than at any other time this year. There are only a fraction of new lay-offs compared to one year ago. YTK expects the unemployment situation to improve further in the summer.

In May, the YTK unemployment rate was 9.9%. The decrease from the previous month was 13%. The unemployment rate among YTK members in April was 11.3% and in March 12.3%.

In May, a total of 69,829 daily allowance applications were received by YTK. In April, 71,040 applications arrived, which means that the number of applications decreased slightly. 

By mid-June, around 28,000 applications have been received, compared with around 36,000 in May. 

"In the light of these numbers, the situation seems to be clearly getting better. Based on the number of applications, we estimate that the unemployment rate in June will be lower than in May," says Sanna Alamäki, CEO of YTK. 

Number of new lay-offs is shrinking rapidly

The clear improvement in the employment situation in Finland is particularly visible in the number of new lay-offs. A total of 1442 applications were received by YTK in May due to the start of a new lay-off. In April, the corresponding number was 2806 and in May 2020 it was a wild 16,556. Workers are therefore laid off much less compared to one year ago. 

"The improvement in the situation is reflected in all points of unemployment. The biggest explanation is the number of new lay-offs, which is a fraction compared to last year. We also received fewer follow-up applications in May than before," Sanna Alamäki says.

However, there is still a long way to get to numbers like before the coronavirus crisis. In May 2019, the unemployment rate of YTK members was 7,2%.

"We expect unemployment to decrease further in the summer as society opens up. June has traditionally been the best month in terms of the work situation. The fate of this summer depends on the lifting of restrictions and how people start moving," says Sanna Alamäki. 

Best work situation for people in their 40s

Persons aged 41 to 45 have the best working situation of the YTK members. In May, the YTK members unemployment rate was 8.0%. In all other age groups under the age of 56, unemployment is also below the YTK average.

The average of unemployment is raised by the over-55-year-olds, whose unemployment is the most profound.  

"Our data shows a typical phenomenon: the additional days of unemployment allowance increase the unemployment rate. The gradual exit of the pension pipeline outlined by the Finnish Government will hopefully have a negative impact on this later," Sanna Alamäki says.