FINLAND has withstood the economic and social crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic better than expected on several fronts, including employment.
Statistics Finland Tuesday revealed that the ranks of those employed increased by 121,000 year-on-year to reach 2,677,000 in June, which, after adjusting for random and seasonal variations, translates into an employment rate of 72.4%.
The ranks of the unemployed increased from 7,000 to 220,000.
YLE on Tuesday underline as news of healthy employment growth has come on the wings of many companies releasing strong second quarter numbers. The Bank of Finland, meanwhile, estimated that household savings increased by around nine billion euros due to restrictions on social life imposed by the pandemic.
Elina Pylkkänen, an under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, told the state-owned broadcaster that the rise in employment is a consequence of increased demand for labor. operates in circumstances where the labor supply is strong.
“Economic growth has got off to a good start, which means that the demand for labor has increased. Labor is also available: we have over 300,000 unemployed job seekers. This means that employment will start to grow at a steady pace. Many completed their studies and did not ask for work during the year interrupted by the coronavirus, but now they are, ”she said.
The upturn in economic activity, particularly in the service sector, largely explains the rise in employment, seen Aki Kangasharju, Managing Director of Etla Economic Research.
“Now you have to keep in mind that people who have been temporarily made redundant are counted as employed people, which means that we are not talking about a normal and healthy economy in this regard,” he added. to YLE.
Both Kangasharju and Pylkkänen recalled that the coronavirus continues to cast a shadow over the economic and employment situation.
“The biggest threat is the virus mutating in a way that prevents us from opening the economy,” Kangasharju said. “It’s a short-term problem. A slightly longer term problem is that we have reached a certain employment rate, but if we are not able to take further action, we cannot go back from there. And if employment does not improve and the public economy does not recover, we will have to start making cuts in the public economy.
Kangasharju himself is not really convinced that the necessary decisions will be made.
“My expectations are very low,” he retorted. “The train left the station, the government spent its money, but it did not take the kind of employment measures that could bail out public coffers. Important decisions have been postponed and this summer alarming messages have emanated from the ranks of government that there is still no need to make decisions.
He felt that this fall could be the last opportunity to make decisions, as parties are likely to start looking to the next parliamentary elections and become increasingly reluctant to make unpopular decisions.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT