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Women hit harder by Covid labour market changes

Some 35,000 fewer women were employed in October than a year earlier, according to the official statistics agency.

Rakennustyömies työmaalla.
There were 9,000 more men in employment in October this year compared to the same month last year. Image: Petteri Bülow / Yle

The coronavirus crisis is having a noticeably different effect on the employment levels of men and women in Finland, according to the latest figures published by Statistics Finland.

The number-crunching agency found that there were 35,000 fewer women at work in October this year compared to the same month last year, while there were 9,000 more men in employment this year.

The economic uncertainty brought about since the outbreak of the pandemic in the spring has caused employment levels across many industries to plummet, with sectors that traditionally hire more women -- such as the services industry -- hardest hit.

In total, Statistics Finland reported that there were 26,000 fewer employed people in Finland in October this year, while there were 34,000 more people officially listed as jobseekers compared to October 2019.

The employment rate stood at 71.7 percent, down from 72 percent a year earlier. Altogether 2.53 million people, or just under half of the total population, were employed.

The unemployment rate is now at 7.4 percent, up from 6.2 percent at the same time last year, with 203,000 people looking for work according to Statistics Finland's method of calculation.

Fewer new job vacancies

Meanwhile the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (TEM) reported that at the end of October, there were a total of 312,700 unemployed jobseekers registered at employment and economic development (TE) offices nationwide.

This figure represents an increase of 88,000 compared to a year ago, but has fallen by 3,100 from the number of jobseekers reported in September.

You can listen to the latest All Points North podcast on Finland's jobs market via the embedded player here or via Yle Areena, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

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Audio: Yle News

The ministry added that 53,000 new job vacancies were reported to TE offices in October, which is 12,100 less than the same month last year.

The unemployment figures of Statistics Finland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment differ because Statistics Finland's criteria are stricter than those of the ministry. Statistics Finland's figures are based on sampling and are internationally comparable.

The ministry also does not measure the employment rate.

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