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Excerpted from the Finland Career Guide

General Trends

Finland, or Suomi in Finnish, became a member of the European Union (EU) in 1995. The republic has a population of approximately 5.4 million and is an advanced industrial economy. The capital, Helsinki, and the towns of Espoo and Vantaa form the fast-growing Helsinki metropolitan region, home to more than 1.3 million Finns. Other important towns are Tampere and Turku in southern Finland and Oulu in the north.

Finland has transformed its economy in just a few decades from insular and agrarian to globally competitive in terms of economic, technological and social development. The country’s well-functioning, transparent public and private institutions, its strong focus on education and its highly skilled workforce placed it third in the World Economic Forum’s most recent Global Competitiveness Index. The country also remains one of the EU leaders in entrepreneurship based on indicators such as entrepreneurship rate, the status of entrepreneurs in society and media attention for entrepreneurs. In addition, Finland scores above the EU average for the innovation of its businesses.

Employment Outlook

Finland’s prolonged economic woes have also weakened the labor market. The current unemployment rate sits at 7.4 percent, up from 7.1 percent at the same time last year. Nordea Bank predicts unemployment will grow to 9 percent for the next two years. The unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24 stands at 11.2 percent.

The country currently has 27,800 job vacancies, according to the most recent Job Vacancy Survey of Statistics Finland. This is down 15 percent from last year at the same time. Sixty-six percent of the vacancies are in private companies. Thirty-one percent of the vacancies are for part-time positions and 54 percent for fixed-term. Based on employers' own estimates, 36 percent of the job vacancies are for hard-to-fill positions.

Areas of Job Promise

The following is a list of top ten growth occupations for Finland published by the most recent European Vacancy Monitor. The list is based on a Eurostat Labour Force Survey where employers were asked what occupations could expect significant growth once the employment market expands again.

  1. Sales, Marketing, Public Relations Professionals
  2. Retail Salespersons
  3. Software and Applications Developers and Analysts
  4. Administration Professionals
  5. Mining, Manufacturing and Construction Supervisors
  6. Legal Professionals
  7. Building Finishers and Related Trades Workers
  8. Waiters and BartendersMining and Mineral Processing Plant Operators
  9. Finance Professionals


Wage increases are expected to be very modest over the next few years, as the Finnish economy continues to struggle. Unions and employers recently reached an agreement on moderate wage increases designed to help the Nordic country’s manufacturers regain competitiveness against main trading rivals Germany and Sweden. Although the pay rises are small, the agreement does include measures to help young, low-income people and those having difficulties finding employment.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Finland Guide.

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