Situation room report 9.9.2021 – latest developments in the labor market, households and firms

September 9, 2021

The Helsinki GSE situation room continues to publish reports based on up-to-date data every other week. The reports follow the economy’s development from the labor market’s, households’ and/or firms’ perspectives. 

The background information for the figures has been collected from the Statistics Finland’s registers.

Key findings

  • The daily number of employed according to our 1000€ a month measure has remained at approximate 2019 levels. Higher income groups remain at clearly higher employment levels compared to 2019 summer.
  • Revenue levels have development positively and in most reviewed groups revenues in july overcame those of 2019.
  • Firm market entries have slowed down and dipped below 2019 levels while exits have increased over the 2019 levels.

Labor market

Labor market – employment

Below, we present the daily amounts of employed in 2019 – 2021. Here, a person is considered employed if they receive at least 1000 euros of wage income over a month.

In June 2021, the daily number of employed finally reached the level of 2019 after having remained below it ever since April 2020. The fresh july figures show a slight dip below the level of july 2019.

Below, we present the daily numbers of employed in 2019 – 2021 by income groups earning at least €3000 or €6000 a month. We find that, compared to year 2019, the number of employed in June seems to have grown proportionately more for higher income groups: the number grew more for people earning at least €3000 than $1000, and the proportional growth was by far highest for those earning at least €6000. In july the difference to 2019 is slightly lower than in june but still high.

The 4 figures below show the develepment of employment according to the 1000€ per month measure in selected 4 industries. Here there are clear differences to be found and most of the selected industries infact show a decline in employment throughout the year with only Trade boasting levels higher than those of 2019.

Labor market – furloughs and layoffs

The figure below shows the weekly new furlough and unemployment spells from 2019 to 2021. The amounts of new spells increased substantially in the beginning of the crisis, but new entries into unemployment or furloughs have in general declined afterwards. During 2021 the number of new furlough spells has slowly declined to the level of 2019, while the number of new unemployment spells falls slightly below that of 2019.


Firms – revenue

The figures below show the monthly revenue of finnish firms in aggragate level, in selected 4 main industries and in different firm sizes measured in amount of employees. The fresh figures from june show an overall positive development across the different selected groups with the level of revenue in most cases being higher than in june 2019. Of the selected groups only Hotels and Restaurants still lag below 2019 revenue levels.

Firms – Entries and exits

The figure below shows the monthly number of entrant firms in Finland 2019 – 2021. Legal entries are firms that start their business in a legal sense, for example, acquire a company ID. Real entries are firms that start their economic activities. Information on real entries is interpreted from various data sources by Statistics Finland. Note that the figures may change as more data is gathered and time passes. The june figures show the slowdown of entries to the market has continues and has now dipped below 2019 and 2020 levels.

The figures below show the monthly number and cumulative sum of firms that left the market in Finland. Legal exits are firms that terminated their business permanently in a legal sense. Real exits are firms that stopped their economic activities, but did not necessarily cease their business in a legal sense. Information on real exits is interpreted from various sources by Statistics Finland. Note that the data may update afterwards when more information is received. The june figures show market exists increasing and going over the 2019 and 2020 levels.


Households – Unemployment benefits

The figure below displays the number of applicants for Kela’s unemployment benefits from the beginning of the year in 2019 – 2021. The figure shows striking increases in applications in April and May 2020. In 2021, similar spikes in the number of applications are not observed. Only in august do the applications levels surprass those of 2020 but still fall below those of 2019.

Unemployment benefits applications are also shown divided by age and gender and occupation (highest application levels included) and gender. In general applications show of course show the same decline in the subgroups but noteworthy is that no group really stands out from the pack with the exception of the top occupations for women where the applications have declined quite drastically.

Please note that these figures do not include the earnings-related unemployment allowance paid by unemployment funds. Additionally, the figures illustrate the numbers of new applications rather than all those collecting benefits of a given type.

  • Additional information about the Helsinki GSE Situation Room consisting of researchers from Helsinki GSE, University of Turku, VATT Institute of Economic Research and Statistics Finland:
  • Additional information about the report: Otto Toivanen, otto.toivanen [at]
  • Suggested citation in mediaCite Helsinki GSE Situation Room as the source with a link to website.
  • Suggested citation in academic publications: please contact otto.toivanen [at]
  • Figures and data: