Work in Finland
Short overview of the Finnish labour market
The population of Finland is roughly 5.4 million. The labour force consists of about 2.5 million. The average number of unemployed people in 2011 was 210 000, and the level of unemployment was around 7.8%.
Sectors employing the largest number of people in Finland are health and social services, other services, industry, and wholesale and retail trade. These sectors provide jobs for almost 60% of the total labour force in Finland. The Finnish companies with the largest number of employers are: Nokia, an electronics manufacturer; Itella, a postal and courier service provider; UPM, a manufacturer of wood and paper products; and Kesko, a wholesale and retail trading company.
Due to long-term economic uncertainty in Finland, an increasing number of companies are not currently recruiting. In the service sector, the outlook with respect to employment is slightly more positive than in other sectors. Most of the job vacancies in Finland are in the retail, service and industrial work professions. New people are needed especially in service work and healthcare.
Looking for work in Finland
It is a good idea to start looking for a job in Finland before you actually arrive in the country, for example, by checking out the basic information available on the Internet. The website of the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) provides information about jobs, TE Office services, the permits required and the various employment opportunities available.
EURES – The European Job Mobility Portal maintained by the European Commission – offers compiled information about job vacancies, living and working conditions and the regional labour markets in Finland and the other EU/EEA countries. The portal provides access to cv-Search, a forum providing jobseekers with the facility to post their cv on the site to advertise themselves to employers. There are also Finnish employers registered. Nearly 800 EURES advisers provide advice and information about issues related to job-seeking in other European countries. You can search for your nearest advisor on the EURES portal.
Citizens of EU/EEA countries can spend three months in Finland looking for work. If you are unemployed, you can claim for unemployment benefit from your country of origin for this period. If this is the case, you will need a form U2 or E303, obtained prior to travelling to Finland from the authorities responsible for unemployment insurance in the country you are leaving. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, job seekers must register with an employment office (TE Office) within seven days of being no longer available to the employment authorities of the country of origin.