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Finland for Thought » Finland: High unemployment, low standard of living | Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland

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24.11.2005

Finland: High unemployment, low standard of living

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 1:20 pm

Finland has the highest unemployment in the Nordic/Scandanavian region, and the lowest standard of living – Even Iceland has a higher GDP per capita. Attributing to this is the welfare state encouraging citizens to retire early

In an attempt to solve this paradox, the office asked five experts to determine what Finland should learn from its neighbours in order to improve its productivity and employment rates.

The measures proposed were controversial, including the turning of the country’s somewhat passive social security and unemployment benefits into a more incentive-based system, as well as the expansion of the public sector.

  • Anonymous

    Attributing to this is the welfare state encouraging citizens to retire early…

    They’re about to “encourage” 500 people to retire early where I work right now, and I do not work at the “welfare state”.

  • http://tiedemies.blogspot.com Tiedemies

    “Even Iceland”?? Iceland has the 14th highest GDP per capita in the world, ahead of such countries as UK, Sweden and Canada. Finland is up there at the same level with France and Germany. I don’t know why on earth you would make such a comparison.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    I don’t know why on earth you would make such a comparison.

    Iceland is a small nation. To Americans, small nations are backward and funny and couldn’t be rich by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Tomi

    Finland’s GDP per capita is at same level with Sweden’s. If somebody had suggested this, say, in the 70s he would have laughed at very loudly. Finland’s economy has grown at a world-record rate, or very close to it, during the last 50 years or so, and has been catching up that of, for example, the USA most of the time, growing faster, that is. (Other Nordic countries are quite different from Finland: Denmark highly urbanize, Norway with it’s oil and Iceland with, what, 400 000 inhabitants on a remote island.)

    It’s fine that somebody’s trying to improve still.

  • Jormanen

    Why Finland is always compared to four Nordic countries? Denmark belongs to Central Europe, Iceland to North America and Finland is in eastern Europe. Scandinavia consists only of Sweden and Norway.

  • Tom

    “Finland has the highest unemployment in the Nordic/Scandanavian region, and the lowest standard of living”

    This is an interesting comparison by Phil as Sweden, the scandinavian country without oil, is THE model of a high-taxing welfare state. So what is the model you are suggesting to us?

  • Anton

    “Why Finland is always compared to four Nordic countries? Denmark belongs to Central Europe, Iceland to North America and Finland is in eastern Europe. Scandinavia consists only of Sweden and Norway.”

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but, I’m guessing you’re going to vote for Timo Soini.

  • Pierre

    Let’s face it. Finland has still a serious problem with unemployment. Last figures underlined something about 7.2% of the active population being jobless. Such numbers are reduced all the time, but still stay at a quite high level.

    About standards of living, I think that the percentage of people living “well” here is much higher than in many other countries (listed below). But really, have you compared appartement from the state here to the one in France? Or the price of housing between Helsinki and Stockholm? Or healthcare and univesity fees between Usa and Finland?

    Ok, I also can speak about car. But (even if I am a car enthousiast in some way) I don’t really care about them as much as I do for my health. Anyway, the percentage of people which can burn (I mean for real) money as M. Kadafi used to blow up planes is probably one of the lowest in the world. Lambo or Yacht owners does not fit really well here.

    Please have a look to some more acurate metrics. A country like Luxembourg (that I know particulary well) is blowing up everything from the GDP point of view. And actually, average people there doesn’t not feel for sure up to 50% more wealty than others living in the French or German side of the border.

    Those measures are only good to evaluate the growth of an economy between two particular moments. To conclude, I would say that The only country which currently has a similar situation is Sweden. And BTW, Sweden’s GDP is a bit lower than the one of Finland.

    GDP in 2004.
    Finland $29,000
    Sweden $28,400
    Norway $40,000
    Denmark $32,200
    Iceland $31,900
    Germany $28,700
    France $28,700
    USA $40,100
    Lux $58,900

  • winter

    “Let’s face it. Finland has still a serious problem with unemployment.”

    change that to

    Let’s face it. Finland has still a serious problem with high TAXES.

    and then you know the why “Finland has still a serious problem with unemployment.”

    Its that simple.

    Or as we say in America, “Still voting Left, still stuck on stupid”.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    Let’s face it. Finland has still a serious problem with high TAXES.
    and then you know the why “Finland has still a serious problem with unemployment.”

    Spain has one of the lowest income tax rates in Europe (considerably lower than the USA) and over 10% unemployment. Next.

  • winter

    “Spain has one of the lowest income tax rates in Europe (considerably lower than the USA) and over 10% unemployment.”

    And yes if Spain raised taxes. Guess what?

    More unemployment in Spain.

    Spain needs to look at the current budget, and find better investments to get that 10% rate down.

  • Anonymous

    The problem of Spain is the slow change of everything. The whole educational system should have been refocused a long time ago produce skilled people at all levels. Otherwise there is no hope of lower unemployment.

    I have lived in Finland since 1995 and seen how tremendously this country has changed and is still changing, while Spain is still the same old Spain.

  • Pierre

    High taxes?
    What about Danemark and Sweden then? Their unemployment is even lower than in the states! And their taxes are higher than in Finland. Like I said it, Finland has “still” a problem with unemployment, which is now hopefully not going to last anymore.

    About Spain, the situation is even different than for the others, since they still have a lot of undeclared jobs. So the unemployment rate is probably about 7-8% (hard to measure).

    If I would give a basic difference between EU and USA, I would resume it two points.
    -USA knows that people are different, and does not actually really care if it is unfare or not. It is just like that. Help yourself if you can. I call that “fake freedom”, except for a certain percentage of people, (particulary represented here and in the administration), which can afford all the “basic services”.
    -Most of the old Europe has a set of systems which try to offer the same oportunities for everybody. I actually call that “actual freedom”, since you are still in a total free market, and don’t have to really worry about diseases cost or university prices. For 99% of the population, it gives chances to build yourself.

  • anonymous

    If “Old Europe” as you called it had “actual freedom” then why would the USA declare itself separate from Europe if it had what it already wanted?

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  • Laiso

    This fucking tax system takes all money from the people, those who contribute for thr national economy.. lot of finnish do not do any fucking job and they live very well with the social and we should earn money for them also.. So i really hate the fucking Finnish goverment and its system..

  • http://myspace.com unominice

    okay listen or read what ever one.
    im doing a report on finland and it
    would be pretty nice, if you had somthing good
    on this web site.

  • http://myspace.com alisha P.

    okay it would be nice if
    you had somthing good on this
    site. cuz this is gay and inm doing
    a project on finland not this crap!

  • Anonymous

    the more you write the less you know

  • didier

    that is just relative. poor in scandinavia, rich in a world scale. nowadays iceland has the lowest gdp per capita but so what, its still one of the richest countries and best places to live in the world. you finnish moaners.

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