Long-term unemployment on a rapid decline in Finland

More and more Finns are expected to join the ranks of the employed in the near future after a period of unemployment of at least a year.

Finns are expected to leave the ranks of the long-term unemployed at an almost unprecedented rate during the course of this year - writes helsinkitimes.

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The Ministry of Employment and the Economy reports that long-term unemployment is currently declining rapidly and that its forecasts, which thus far have proven accurate, indicate that the decline will continue to intensify by the end of the year.

“The key positive message is that the number of new long-term unemployed will be lower than before,” Erno Mähönen, a senior specialist at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, summarised to Kauppalehti on Monday .

He admitted that some of the improvement may be attributable to the fact that earlier statistical errors have been corrected based on interviews conducted by employment officials with job seekers in the first half of the year.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has reported that 106,500 of the 291,500 unemployed job seekers in the country had been without a job for at least a year in May. The ranks of the long-term unemployed peaked at 128,000 in 2016.

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The number of the long-term unemployed is expected to stand at an average of 101,000 in 2017 – 23,000 lower than in 2016.

Aino Silvo, an economist at the Bank of Finland, is confident thatthe decline in long-term unemployment is a sign of an economic upturn.

“It may have something to do with cleaning up the statistics, but it’s a sign of an improved economic situation. The long-term unemployed especially will surely not find employment immediately after the turn has taken place,” she states.

Youth unemployment, similarly, has decreased and is expected to continue doing so in the near future, according to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

Aleksi Teivainen ­- HT

Photo: Anni Reenpää – Lehtikuva

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