Finnish Joblessness Rises More Than Estimated Amid Recession

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Finland’s unemployment rate jumped more than estimated last month, reaching an eight-month high, as companies respond to a drop in demand by cutting staff.

The jobless rate, which isn’t adjusted for seasonal variations, rose to 8.7 percent in January from 6.9 percent in December, Helsinki-based Statistics Finland said on its website today. Estimates by three economists surveyed by Bloomberg ranged from 7.8 percent to 8.3 percent.

Finland, which fell into a recession in the first half of last year, is grappling with sinking demand in the euro area as the 17-nation bloc faces a second year of contraction. Manufacturers in the northernmost euro member are resorting to cuts to stay profitable. Finland exports about a third of its output, much of which goes to the single-currency zone.

The number of people without jobs increased by 25,000 in a year to 228,000, the statistics office said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kati Pohjanpalo in Helsinki at kpohjanpalo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net