Labour market information

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Finland - National Level

Short overview of the labour market


The population of Finland is approximately 5.5 million. The size of the country’s working age population will decrease in the coming years due to an increasing rate of retirement. At the same time, the number of immigrants is growing, and people are staying at work longer. In 2018, the labour force consisted of just under 2.5 million workers.  The average number of people unemployed in 2018 was approximately 200 000, and the unemployment rate was around 7.5 %.

Today, most employed persons in Finland work in the service sector. The sectors employing the largest number of people are commerce, transport, hotel and catering services, education, health and social services, and other services. Employment in the service sector is expected to continue to increase in the future.

Some of the largest employers in Finland are Posti Group Corporation, offering postal and courier services, the OP Financial Group, providing banking and insurance services, and ISS Palvelut Oy, which provides property and facility management services.  The largest number of recent new employment opportunities have been in small and medium-sized enterprises. In Finland, the public sector is also a big employer. For example, the City of Helsinki is the largest single employer in Finland. It offers employment in the sectors of education, health and social services, transport and maintenance.

Employers’ requirements regarding the staff they employ vary greatly according to the job. The absence of suitable employees in Finland is often due to jobseekers’ inadequate training, or lack of relevant work experience or specialist skills.

Finland uses a system that provides detailed information on which professions and occupations have a demand for or possible lack of workers (the Occupational Barometer).


Text last edited on: 06/2019

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