Unemployment down
Labour market and earnings;Labour market and earnings
akumnd, Labour force survey, seasonally-adjusted figures, LFS, labour market, employees, unemployed, economically active, man-weeks worked, labour forceUnemployment , Employment , Labour market and earnings

Labour force survey, seasonally-adjusted figuresFebruary 2004



This is an archived release.

Go to latest release

Unemployment down

Since June 2003 unemployment has been gradually decreasing, and the figure for February is in accordance with this development. The figures are adjusted for seasonal variations.

Unemployed (LFS), registered unemployed and registered unemployed plus government measures to promote employment. Seasonally adjusted figures, three-month moving average in 1 000. 1989-2004.

The last figure for February (the January-March period) shows that unemployment decreased by 3 000 people from the previous month (December-February), which is inside the error margin. The development is still confirming the downward trend we have seen in unemployment since June (May-July) last year. Seasonally adjusted figures of registered unemployment at job centres stayed flat from January to February.

The summer of 2003 saw an increase in employment after a longer period of decline. During the last months the increase has been levelling out. In February this year the number of employees increased by 2 000 from the previous month, which is inside the error margin.

Unemployment up in Sweden

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Norway was 4.3 per cent in February 2004, compared with 4.6 per cent in November 2003. EU unemployment remained flat at 8.0 per cent, while the unemployment rate in OECD countries fell from 7.0 to 6.9 per cent. The USA saw unemployment fall by 0.3 percentage points to 5.6 per cent from November to February, while Sweden experienced unemployment growth from 6.0 to 6.4 per cent. In Finland unemployment remained unchanged at 8.9 per cent. This was more or less the case also in Germany and France, according to figures from the OECD and Eurostat .

Labour force, employees and man-weeks worked. Seasonally adjusted figures, three-month moving average in 1 000. 1989-2004.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in selected countries. Per cent of the labour force. February 2004.

Man-weeks worked have shown a downward trend since the summer of 1998. From November to February man-weeks worked fell by 32 000, which is clearly outside the error margin. Some of the decline is attributable to an extra large amount of employees taking time off work around New Year's Day, which affects the February figure (the January-March period).

Uncertain figures

Quality tests show that the seasonally adjusted LFS unemployment figures are uncertain. The seasonal-adjustment method has problems identifying a stable seasonal pattern for this series. The random component is relatively large compared with the seasonal component. The figures should therefore be treated with caution.

The purpose of adjusting for seasonal variations is to describe the development during the last year and to provide figures of change between the last two three-month periods, cleared for normal seasonal variations. In order to reduce uncertainty, the presented series are three-month moving averages of the seasonally adjusted figures. For instance, the figures for February are the average of the estimates for January, February and March.

Employment (LFS). Seasonally adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2004

Unemployment (LFS). Seasonally adjusted figures and trend figures. Three-month moving average in 1 000. 1999-2004