Unemployment numbers up in October
The number of people unemployed and looking for work in Finland rose by 34,000 in October compared with the previous year – while the number of employed people fell by 26,000 during the same period. That’s according to new figures released by Statistics Finland on Tuesday morning which show the employment rate trent now at 71.7% and the unemployment rate trend stands at 8.3%. Although like all countries the Finnish economy and jobs market has been hit hard this year by the coronavirus crisis, a new report by the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy Etla concludes that between January and September Finland’s economy actually survived the impact of the pandemic with less damage than other European countries.
Damaged Viking Line ferry arrives in Naantali
The Viking Grace passenger ferry, which ran aground in Åland over the weekend, has arrived under its own power in Naantali on Tuesday morning for repairs. Hundreds of passengers spent Saturday night on board after the ferry hit rocks near Mariehamn harbour. The damage to the vessel is being examined in more detail, but the initial estimate is that damage was minor. The Viking Grace sailed from Åland to Turku using her own engines on Sunday and then continued this morning to Naantali shipyard. While the Grace is under repair, it will be replaced on the Turku to Stockholm route by the M/S Gabriella.
Pledges expected on second day of Afghanistan conference
The second day of an international development on conference on Afghanistan, co-hosted by Finland, is taking place at the United Nations in Geneva. Dozens of countries taking part, many by video link, are expected to make pledges of future financial support for the country. The conference comes at a crossroads for the Afghan people, with renewed concerns about the country’s future security with US troop numbers expected to be cut in half by mid-January, and with ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban taking place in Qatar. Today, the main speakers at the conference are UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, while Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Development Minister Ville Skinnari will also be making speeches. Read more about the importance of conference to Afghanistan, and Finland, in our interview with Pekka Haavisto here.
Posti predicts record-breaking parcel volumes at year end
Posti says it’s ready to handle record-breaking volumes of parcel deliveries through the end of the year, accelerated by Black Friday online retail shopping and Christmas. This week Posti will open 200 temporary parcel collection points around the country as they brace for around 1.5 million parcel deliveries in Finland every week in the lead up to Christmas, increasing to nearly two million parcel deliveries each week during the peak period as people order gifts online, or send Christmas presents to friends and family.
It’s another late year for winter snow to arrive in most areas of Finland, heralding a magic time when the nights are long, the days short and the light is soft, especially on the rare days when the sun shines. The low sun casts long shadows, giving definition to the patterns in snow and ice. Even on cloudy days there can be subtle shades in a winter landscape. If the trees are coated in only a thin layer of snow, the darker shades of green provide a subtle contrast to the pure white of snow. In anticipation of a cold, white, snowy winter season take a look at our gallery of Finland’s stunning winter landscapes here.
Tuesday morning weather
It’s a very cold start to the morning in northwest Lapland with the temperatures down to -14°C. The temperatures are below freezing across the whole of the region and only warm up further south: but not much. Expect zero degrees in Oulu, +2°C in Vaasa, zero degrees across central areas as well, +2°C for Tampere, Turku, Lahti and Hämeenlinna; and the best of the sunshine this morning is in the capital city region.