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Employment up, nears gov't target

The Finnish employment rate is edging towards the government's target of 72 percent.

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Image: Antti Haanpää / Yle

As the upswing in GDP growth continues, Finland's employment rate is closing in on the government's target of 72 percent.

Last year the economy grew by 2.8 percent, according to recently-revised figures from Statistics Finland. That bubbly economy has seen an extra 50,000 people join the workforce, bringing the seasonally-adjusted employment rate to 72 percent according to the Ministry of Employment's claimant count.

The Statistics Finland Labour Market survey, which is collected via interviews with jobseekers and is therefore comparable to similar figures from other countries, puts the employment rate at 71.8 percent.

The rate has increased by a whole percentage point since December, with some 100,000 more people now in work than at this time last year.

PM Juha Sipilä's centre-right government had set itself a target of increasing the employment rate to 72 percent in an effort to reduce the so-called 'sustainability gap' between projected state income and expenditure in future years.

Several measures have been enacted in pursuit of this goal, including the controversial activation model. Another proposed measure to loosen the rules around employing under-30s was rejected after constitutional issues were flagged up.

In May Sipilä said the 72 percent target was not high enough, suggesting that 75 percent would be a better target to set public finances in order.

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