Unemployment rate

Updated: 30 Mar 2021
Next update: 4 May 2021

The unemployment rate is the ratio of the unemployed to the active population (labour force) of the same age, i.e. employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate of the total population is calculated as the ratio of 15 to 74-year-old unemployed persons to the active population (labour force) of the same age.

A person is unemployed if he/she is without work during the survey week (not in paid employment or working as self-employed), has actively sought employment in the past four weeks as an employee or self-employed and would be available for work within two weeks. A person who is without work and waiting for an agreed job to start within three months is also classified as unemployed if he/she could start work within two weeks. Persons laid off for the time being who fulfil the above-mentioned criteria are also counted as unemployed.

Labour force: All persons aged 15 to 74 who were employed or unemployed during the survey week belong to the active population. The concept of labour force can also be used of the active population.


The data content, data collection and estimation method of the Labour Force Survey are revised at the beginning of 2021. Due to the revision, only the key indicators concerning the labour market are published in this release, and trend figures are not published. Preliminary data concerning February 2021 are not entered into Statistics Finland's free StatFin database or the chargeable Astika database.

Due to the adjustment of the estimation method, the data concerning February 2021 are not comparable with earlier released data and they may later become revised. Final data will be published in connection with the release of data for March and the 1st quarter of 2021.

For the comparison, the data for February 2020 were calculated retrospectively with the new estimation method and they differ from the previously released data. The data for February 2020 may also become revised later.

According to Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey, there were 220,000 unemployed in February 2021 (margin of error ±22,000), i.e. 35,000 more than one year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 129,000 and that of women 91,000.

The unemployment rate was 8.1 per cent in February, having been 6.9 per cent in the year before. The unemployment rate for men went up by 1.5 percentage points from the previous years February to 9.2 per cent. The unemployment rate for women rose by 1.0 percentage points to 7.0 per cent.

Statistical release