World Economy

Finland Jobless Rate Rises

Finland Jobless Rate RisesFinland Jobless Rate Rises

Fresh data from Statistics Finland indicate that the average unemployment rate in 2015 was 9.4%, representing more than a quarter of a million people out of work during the year. A former senior finance ministry official says that government has its work cut out for it to create 110,000 jobs to boost employment.

Statistics Finland reported Tuesday that the average number of unemployed people last year was 252,000, some 20,000 more than in 2014, Yahoo reported.

Those numbers pushed the average jobless rate to 9.4% in 2015, up from an average of 8.7% in 2014.

Last year the rate of people with jobs fell slightly to 68.1%, from 68.3% one year earlier–a point noted by Juha Sipila’s government, which says it wants to increase the employment rate to 72% by creating 110,000 new jobs.

The number of working age people who had fallen through the cracks and dropped out of the job market last year was 144,000, some 5,000 more than in 2014.

Number crunchers said that this group had grown steadily since 2008.

On Tuesday former finance ministry director general Jukka Pekkarinen expressed skepticism about the government’s ability to reach its goal of creating over 100,000 new jobs.

Pekkarinen said that any measures the government takes to advance employment would have limited effect against the backdrop of the big picture. He noted that economic growth is the alpha and omega of job stimulation and government’s prescriptions should focus on generating growth.

"We would need new measures from the government and other policies to get anywhere near that goal," he added.

He said such policies could include providing supplementary training as well as ensuring a functional social benefits system that would support people entering the job market.