Major Finnish-based companies have expanded their workforces abroad,
while reducing them in Finland
Helsinki (16.03.2012 - Heikki Jokinen, Juhani Artto) In the 2000's 13 major
Finnish-based multinational companies have almost doubled their personnel
abroad to about 234,000. In the same period they have cut the number of
their employees in Finland by nearly a third to 105,000. The proportion of
their employees working abroad rose, in a decade, from 47 per cent to 69 per
cent, researchers Ritva Oesch and Pekka Sauramo report in a new article*.
Employees working abroad for these 13 companies represent approximately 40
per cent of the employees employed by foreign subsidiaries out of all
From 2000 to 2010 two thirds of the growth in personnel employed abroad was
due to the formation of Nokia Siemens Network, which is a joint venture
between Nokia and Siemens.
The number of Nokia's employees working in Finland was reduced from 24,500
19,800 during the same period. And
the seven other industrial companies dealt with in the article
also cut back on their domestic labour force. These seven companies are
Outokumpu, Rautaruukki, Stora Enso, UPM, Metsäliitto and Kemira. Sanoma, the
leading media company in Finland, has only slightly cut the number of
employees in Finland but its personnel abroad has expanded significantly as
a result of several company acquisitions.
Four of the 13 companies managed to enlarge their workforce in Finland. They
IT service provider Tieto, the construction company and building system
provider YIT and the largest companies in the commercial sector, Kesko and
From 2007 to 2009 the foreign subsidiaries of these 13 Finnish-based
companies cut the number of jobs in total by almost 23,000. In Finland they
their number of personnel by even more. This is due to their weak commitment
to investing in
Finland compared with their willingness to invest in other countries.
Share of jobs in Western countries has dropped
In 1996 well over half (58.0 per cent) of the employees of the
Finnish-based companies foreign subsidiaries worked in the USA (19.3 per
cent), Sweden (18.5), Germany (11.4) and UK (8.8). By 2009 the proportion
these four countries) had dropped to 29.6 per cent.
In the same period the share of jobs for Russia (9.3 per cent in 2009),
(8.8), India (5.4) and Estonia (5.0) rose from 2.2 per cent to 28.5 per
*Oesch, Sauramo: Miten monikansalliset suomalaisyritykset sopeutuivat
talouskriisiin?, Talous & Yhteiskunta 1-2012, published by the Labour
Institute for Economic Research.