Helsinki (07.02.2018 – Heikki Jokinen) The number of redundancies in the private sector was at a record low in the year 2017.  A total of 3,276 employees lost their job last year, compared to 10,874 in 2016.

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK has been keeping track of the number of redundancies since 2007 and the figures for the year 2017 are lower than ever.

The figures reflect the upswing in the Finnish economy, says Hannu Jouhki, Director of SAK Growth and Advocacy department.

He hopes that all labour market parties will continue to work positively in an effort to sustain this economic growth.

”Some company directors have already been predicting that employment in their own areas will experience a downturn in the near future. This kind of irresponsible speculation seeks to justify future redundancies as inevitable and is creating an atmosphere of fear.”

Instead of scaremongering now is the time to invest in the competence of the employees, Jouhki says.

”Without know-how there can be no new innovations. SAK has a goal to bring a functioning personnel and training programme to every working place until 2020. The legislation already obligates this, but implementation has been unfortunately weak.”

With this plan companies can, together with their personnel, anticipate and prepare for the changes in their business environment, Jouhki says.

Problems in banking and insurance sector continues

The number of redundancies decreased in almost all private sectors. In the retail sector the fall in job losses was 82 per cent in comparison with the year 2016. In transport the figure was 78 per cent smaller than the year before, in the information and communication sector 75 per cent and in industry 63 per cent.

In the finance and insurance sector the development was quite the reverse. The number of redundancies grew a bit in comparison to the year 2016. The figure now was, however, lower than in the year 2015.

This trend seems to be continuing: In February 2018 Nordea Bank announced it will begin the mandatory consultation process with regard to possible personnel cuts in Finland with a goal of slashing 420 jobs.

Nordea operates in 17 countries and is the biggest bank in the Nordic countries, employing 31,600 people. In Finland it has some 7,500 employees.

Major redundancies took place last year at the grocery trade chain Kesko, which let 206 people to go after a merger with another retail chain. Other major redundancies took place at the IT software and services company Tieto, 178 redundancies, IT technology company Nokia, 170 redundancies, and telecommunication company Telia Finland with 112 redundancies.

The SAK statistics are based on information made publically available and do not include the municipal sector.

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IT and retail sectors hit hard by redundancies (21.10.2016)