How do you explain labor shortage and high unemployment?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Sometimes Migrant Tales gets it right and many times we do. Our sharp associate editor, JusticeDemon, raised and shed light on a very topical issue that is constantly poisoning the debate about our ever-growing cultural diversity in Finland.

In Mikkeli, which is located about 230km north of Helsinki, a Perussuomalaiset (PS) politician, who equates immigrants with white European colonizers that colonized The Americas, and who believes that the region of South Savo doesn’t need any immigrants, claimed recently on Länsi-Savo that there is no labor shortage in Finland.

While there’s nothing surprising that a councilman of an anti-immigration party like the PS can make such a claim, it is odd that the chairwoman of the Social Democratic Party of Southeastern Finland, Satu Taavitsainen, agreed with the PS politician.

The PS councilman, Jukka Pöyry, is so much against immigration that if he’d live in the nineteenth century, he would be against foreign industrial leaders like Finnlayson, Paulig, Sinebrychoff, Rettig, Fazer and other household names today from moving to Finland because “there’s poverty and unemployment.”

Thus the argument made often by anti-immigration politicians is that we don’t need labor immigrants because there’s no labor shortage.

These politicians forget as well that in the EU there’s freedom of movement.

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Read original posting here.

JusticeDemon raises an good point on a comment to ohdake on Migrant Tales. If you want to know if there is a labor shortage in Finland, all you have to do is visit the national job search engine, which reveals 10,639 job vacancies today. Since there’s no obligation to notify job vacancies – writes JusticeDemon – the true number of job openings is probably twice the number of notices.

He continues: “Many of these notices concern more than one vacancy, and many have been open for several weeks if not months. These are also only the vacancies that have been notified to employment authorities. There is no enforceable obligation to notify vacancies, and the true number of jobs available is probably around twice the number of notices.”

At the same time, Finland had in November an official unemployment rate of 7.9%.

JusticeDemon know throws the knockout punch:

Naive perceptions are easily manipulated by forces seeking political power. For example the most natural naive perception from the foregoing fact of 20,000 vacant jobs and 8 per cent unemployment is that the Finnish unemployed are work shy, and that they blame working immigrants for their unemployment in order to distract public attention from their own failings. This particular naive perception appeals to certain types of selfish Conservative mentality, but remains otherwise fairly rare in Finland.

JusticeDemon considers a “naive perception” the assumption that the number of jobs in an economy is constant. This assumes that any newcomer to the job market is somehow taking a job away from incumbent job-seekers.

“This naive perception appeals to authoritarian mentalities with limited cognitive and conceptual flexibility,” continues JusticeDemon. “There are various other naive perceptions that can be and are woven into the public consciousness to serve political ends. For example the view that everything comes down to labour costs, or that everything is the outcome of some massive conspiracy.”