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TEK and Akava Works: The labour market is grooving once again

News article

TEK’s members are doing better in the labour market than they have in ages. The number of laid off employees has plummeted from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and fewer members are unemployed.

According to a new unemployment survey (in Finnish) by Akava Works, there is a long list of promising signs on the Finnish labour market.

There are plenty of job openings, recent graduates are finding employment at a high rate, there are fewer beginning periods of employment than usual, the number of people unemployed for less than a year is at its lowest for at least 16 years and the number of laid off employees is no longer exceptionally high.  

– The labour market is looking quite promising, said Akava’s Chief Economist Pasi Sorjonen and neatly summed up the atmosphere at the unemployment survey’s publication event in Helsinki.

When asked, TEK’s Labour Market Director Teemu Hankamäki agrees whole-heartedly.

– That's right. TEK’s membership is no longer suffering from COVID-related layoffs either. According to our most recent statistics, 210 TEK members were laid off in December 2021 while in April 2020, when the situation was at its worst, the number was ten times higher, 2,129.

Furthermore, the downward trend in unemployment among highly educated employees in the tech sector continues. At the end of December 2021 there were 2,170 unemployed university-educated tech professionals, which is 3.0% of the entire workforce segment. Therefore, the unemployment rate has also returned to pre-COVID levels.

– 2% of TEK members insured by KOKO, the unemployment fund for highly educated employees, are now receiving earnings-related unemployment payments while just a year ago in January the number was 4.5%. We are closing in on full employment. At the lowest point, 1.3% of members were receiving earnings-related unemployment payments, and this was in November 2008, just before the financial crisis, says Hankamäki.

Some problems still remain. Akava Works’ unemployment survey still highlights long-term unemployment as a major concern as it stubbornly remains high. Another concern is the slow pace at which the unemployment rate is dropping in the Uusimaa region.

Check out TEK's unemployment statistics (in Finnish)