Finland unemployment nearly doubles in April from year ago, ministry says

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Finland’s number of unemployed jobseekers nearly doubled in April to 433,100 from 229,700 a year earlier, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment said on Wednesday.

The number of jobseekers increased by 124,000 in April from the previous month, it said.

The ministry’s numbers, based on registered jobseekers at Finland’s employment offices, includes those who have been temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier on Wednesday, Statistics Finland said the official number of unemployed, based on a survey and excluding the furloughed, remained nearly flat at 217,000 in April year-on-year for an unemployment rate of 6.8%, up 0.2% from the previous month.

“The rapid increase in the number of unemployed jobseekers and particularly in the number of full-time lay-offs was due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” it said.

The Nordic region’s biggest lender, Nordea Bank (NDAFI.HE), forecast on Wednesday the Finnish economy would shrink 7% this year because of the pandemic.

“Although consumption has already started to recover, it is clear that the weak economic situation will persist for quite some time,” Nordea analysts wrote in the report.

The spread of the coronavirus has slowed in Finland, with the number of cases per capita well below those of neighbouring Sweden, Norway and Estonia.

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