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The government aims to create 90 000 new jobs

Helsinki (01.07.2011 - Juhani Artto) Raising the employment rate to about 72 per cent from the present level - clearly below 70 per cent - is one of the cornerstones of the strategy of the new government, led by Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen from the National Coalition Party. (click to the graph on employment rate 1989-2011 -
http://www.findikaattori.fi/41/).

According to the new labour minister Lauri Ihalainen (former President of the union confederation SAK) reaching this goal demands the creation of 90 000 new jobs in the next four years.

In the present economic environment the goal is very ambitious and many vulnerabilities shadow the road leading to the goal. It is fair to say many people regarded this goal as unrealistic. But trade unions are totally committed in their support for the plan to improve employment opportunities.

To a great extent the outcome of this ambitious goal depends on the economic growth in Finland. As the Finnish economy is heavily dependent upon the economic trends in Europe and on other continents it is clear that only some of the factors affecting employment issues can be decisively addressed by the government of this country of 5.3 million
people.

Economic prospects for this and next year feed optimism with regards to the employment goal. The unemployment rate is expected to fall from the present 9 per cent level to 7 per cent in 2013. If this trend continues
without any serious interruption the government will also reach another goal: the unemployment rate reducing to 5 per cent.

"Social guarantee" to young people

So what are the means by which the government plans to use to reduce the unemployment and create new jobs? One of the most important features of this new and radical undertaking is to offer to young people a "social guarantee". The system, to be in place from 2013, will guarantee that all young people would have either work or opportunity to study or participate in training. The guarantee will concern all youngsters below 25 years of age and all from 25 to 29 years of age who have just successfully finished their studies. The new system will be outlined by a task force, which will include trade unionists.

Another set of measures are targeted on the long-term unemployed. This is vital as the number of long-term unemployed has risen quite significantly in recent months notwithstanding the fact that the total number of unemployed has clearly declined. The number of unemployed who participate in training, organized by the employment administration, or receive a job, thanks to public subsidy, will be increased, the government plans.

The government programme underlines the need to rapidly find employment for those have lost their jobs or who are facing job loss. The system that helps these people to find new jobs will be developed more effectively and flexibly.