An average 430 thousand people were unemployed in March-May of this year. This equals 5.8 percent of the labour force. The last time unemployment was lower than 6 percent was in 2003.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment figure for the period March-May 2006 was 418 thousand. This is 10 thousand people fewer than in the period February-April, continuing the fall in unemployment. Since the period July-September 2005, unemployment has decreased by almost 70 thousand people. The decrease follows a period of rather stable unemployment.
71 thousand fewer people were unemployed in March-May than one year previously. Unemployment was lower in all age categories, but the decrease was relatively largest among younger people.
Unemployment among men fell substantially: in March-May 2006 an average 204 thousand men were unemployed. This is 44 thousand fewer than twelve months previously. For women unemployment also fell, but by less than for men.
Unemployment, seasonally adjusted