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VATT Director supports increased immigration

Juhana Vartiainen, the Director General of the Government Institute for Economic Research (VATT) proposes significant increases to immigration to bolster the Finnish workforce. Writing in his column on the VATT website, Vartiainen says too much emphasis is placed on increasing exports as the way to solve Finland’s economic woes.

Valtion taloudellisen tutkimuskeskuksen ylijohtaja Juhana Vartiainen.
Valtion taloudellisen tutkimuskeskuksen ylijohtaja Juhana Vartiainen. Image: Yle

Juhana Vartiainen argues that Sweden, unlike Finland, has managed to grow its employment rate through immigration .

According to the VATT Director, Sweden’s workforce has grown by about 225,000 people since 2010, and 45 percent of the growth is due to immigrants’ employment. In the same period, the Finnish workforce has shrunk.

The rising rate of employment may also go some way to explain why investments in Sweden have grown more than in Finland. A dwindling workforce could lead companies to invest elsewhere than Finland, Vartiainen notes.

Vartiainen says that over the long term, Finland’s exports are also affected by the number of workers skilled in producing exported goods. Decision makers and voters are misguided to only look at the demand for exports, the VATT director writes.

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