involvement has alleviated unemployment
in areas of "abrupt structural change"
Helsinki (30.11.2011 - Juhani Artto) Since 2007 the governments have reacted
to abrupt structural changes with a certain set of measures designed to
mitigate the rise in unemployment. A new study* indicates that the method
has had a positive impact. Unemployment has clearly risen after all the
redundancies and closure of factories but gradually, as a result of the
measures adopted, the development has begun to follow the direction of other
parts of the country, the researchers conclude.
Since 2007 altogether 22 areas, as well as the maritime industry, have been
to receive assistance as "areas of abrupt structural change". In almost five
years governments have directed EUR 220 million for this purpose.
In addition, the financing company Finnvera has provided loans and
guarantees worth EUR 500 million, and another financing company Suomen
Teollisuussijoitus has been a source of investment to companies in these
badly hit areas. Both
of these financing companies are owned by the Finnish State.
In key role planning and implementation of the measures a task force
has been set up to deal with abrupt structural change, nominated by the
Ministry of Employment and
Economy. In the affected areas regional level task forces have the
responsibility to prepare and coordinate whatever steps are deemed necessary
to improve the situation. The central
stakeholders, including recently made redundant employees, are represented
regional task forces.
The "abrupt" cuts have focused primarily on traditional industry towns and
regions. Hardest hit has been the forest industry. From 2005 to 2010 about
ten pulp and paper factories were closed and a quarter of this industry's
production capacity has been cut. Over 7,000 forest industry employees
have been given notice.
Other industries where closures and lay-offs have caused an abrupt rise in
unemployment have been the metal, electronic and engineering industries.
According to the study, 42 per cent of the employees who had been made
have found new employment in the open labour market, 19 per cent are either
unemployed or awaiting retirement and 12 per cent have retired. About
6 per cent are in training programmes and 4 per cent are working in publicly
rakennemuutoksen alueet 2007-2011 by Jukka Hytönen, Ilkka Mella and Anu
Pousi; the English language abstract on page 4 of the 129-page pdf-file