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Divergent reports on unemployment

Statistics Finland reports that the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 6.9 percent in December 2012, compared to 7.4 percent recorded in 2011. At the same time the Ministry of Employment and the Economy said that more people were out of work at the end of last year than at the end of the previous year.

Asiakas työvoimatoimistossa Hämeenlinnassa
Job-hunting at a local employment office. Image: Sari Törmikoski / Yle

According to Statistics Finland, the number of jobless persons in Finland at the end of 2012 was 180,000, or 12,000 fewer than the previous year.

The agency said the decline in the number of jobseekers brought the unemployment rate down to 6.9 percent in December last year, compared to 7.4 percent in December 2011.

Overall Statistics Finland reported a slight dip in unemployment to 7.7 percent in 2012, from 7.8 percent one year earlier.

However, the Ministry for Employment and Economy -- which derives its data from actual jobseekers registered at local Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment -- reported an increase in the number of jobless persons at the end of last year.

The Ministry reported 282,000 jobseekers in December last year, up nearly 27,000 from December 2011.

The numbers of jobless increased in all local Centres, but more so in southwest Finland, the Tampere region, northern Ostrobothnia and the Åland Islands.

Furthermore, the data the number of unemployed under-25s increasing by 3,000 to 35,000 in 2012, compared to one year earlier.

 The ministry says unemployment is clearly trending upward.

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