Increase in sickness absence
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Sickness absenceQ4 2012



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Increase in sickness absence

Sickness absence adjusted for seasonal and influenza variations was 6.6 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2012 - an increase of 3.8 per cent from the 3rd quarter of 2012.

Sickness absence rates for employees aged 16-69. Seasonal- and influenza adjusted1
4th quarter 2012Per cent from previous quarter
1The sickness absence rates are shown to two decimal points. In other tables the rates are shown with one decimal point. More decimal points are used when calculating the rates of change in order to get more accurate figures. These will therefore differ slightly from the rates of change produced when using the published rounded figures.
Both sexes
Self-certified and certified by doctor6.653.8
Certified by doctor5.611.8
Self-certified and certified by doctor5.154.3
Certified by doctor4.242.2
Self-certified and certified by doctor8.523.3
Certified by doctor7.321.5

Both doctor-certified and self-certified sickness absence increased, by 15.7 and 1.8 per cent respectively. Sickness absence for men rose by 4.3 per cent, while increasing 3.3 per cent for women.

Since the 2nd quarter of 2001, when the agreement on an inclusive labour market was implemented, the seasonal and influenza-adjusted sickness absence has dropped by 7.9 per cent.

Statistics without seasonal and influenza adjustment

Since the following comments in this article are based on data that is not adjusted for seasonal and influenza variations, we look at changes over the past year, from the 4th quarter of 2011 to the 4th quarter of 2012.

The sickness absence last year rose by 3.8 per cent. The self-certified sickness absence rate increased by 8.5 per cent and the doctor-certified rate rose by 2.9 per cent.1

Increase for both men and women

Sickness absence among men increased from 5.0 to 5.2 per cent, while rising from 8.3 to 8.6 per cent for women; an increase of 3.7 and 3.9 per cent respectively.

Increase in all industries - except one

The sickness absence rose in all industries except one: real estate and technical activities had a decrease of 0.7 per cent. Among the major industries, the construction and education industries had the largest increases, of 9.4 and 6.9 per cent respectively.

Strongest increase in local government

The sickness absence rate went up in all sectors last year. Local government had the largest increase with 5.7 per cent. Public administration, including health enterprises, rose by 4.8 per cent, while increasing 3.1 per cent in the private sector.

The sickness absence level in the 4th quarter of 2012 was lowest in the private sector with 6.2 per cent, while central and local government had an absence rate of 6.7 and 8.8 per cent respectively.

Strongest increase among the age group 45-54 years

Doctor-certified absence rose in all of the major age groups. The strongest increases were within the age groups 45-49 and 50-54 years, by 4.9 and 3.9 per cent respectively. The age-group 20-24 years had the smallest increase of 0.9 per cent.

Among men, the group of 60-64 year-olds was the only group with a decline in sickness absence; by 0.8 per cent. Among women, the sickness absence rose in all the major age groups. The smallest increase was in the age group 20-24 years, by 0.6 per cent.

These results are based on data on sickness absence certified by a doctor as the survey on self-certified absence does not contain data on sickness absence by age.

1 A previous version of this sentence contained an error. It said that the doctor-certified rate dropped by 2.9 per cent. In truth it rose by 2.9 per cent.