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Unemployment among business owners declined last year

The war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, inflation and high interest rates have weakened household purchasing power. Nevertheless, unemployment among business owners declined.

Unemployment among business owners fell last year, even though the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, rapidly increasing inflation and high interest rates eroded households’ purchasing power, the Entrepreneur Fund (Yrittäjäkassa) unemployment fund reports.

In 2022, the average unemployment rate among Entrepreneur Fund members was 2.5%, down from 3% in 2021. It was at its highest in March at 2.9% and at its lowest in November at 2%.

Fund Director Merja Jokinen says that the low unemployment rate shows that business owners are exceptionally capable to adapting to constant changes and crises.

“Business owners are highly resilient and they do everything they can before winding down their companies and claiming benefits.

“We paid benefits to a total of 1,451 of our members, while the figure for the previous year was 1,657. On the monthly level, benefits were paid to 813 members in January and 593 members in December. The total amount of benefits paid was approximately €12.4 million, whereas the previous year it was €19.5 million,” Jokinen says.

Thousands of business owners without earnings protection

Statistics indicate that there are 270,000 business owners — light entrepreneurs, farmers or part-owners of businesses — who could be members of the Entrepreneur Fund.

Jokinen says that a lot of business owners in Finland still rely on their own resources even in these challenging times.

“Business owners have realized that success in business doesn’t depend on them alone: external factors can have a dramatic effect on the continuity of their operations. Unfortunately, business owners seldom know that they can also join an unemployment fund or even get unemployment benefit. Of business owners, 11% are members of the Entrepreneur Fund, whereas among employees, 85% are members of unemployment funds.”

More than the basic unemployment benefit from Kela

Jokinen reminds business owners that they should join the Entrepreneur Fund in time.

“It’s worth joining the Fund, as a member’s unemployment benefit is higher than the basic unemployment benefit paid by Kela, which it paid to 2,866 non-Fund members in 2021. However, you should join the Fund in good time, as a business owner can only receive unemployment benefit once they’ve been a member for 15 months,” Jokinen says.

The Entrepreneur Fund is, as the name indicates, an unemployment fund for entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur Fund aims to boost business owners’ quality of life and security through voluntary unemployment insurance. A business owner must apply for membership of the Entrepreneur Fund themselves to receive earnings-linked unemployment benefit if they become unemployed. The Entrepreneur Fund pays unemployment benefits to an average of 750 of its members monthly.

Are you already a Suomen Yrittäjät member? Read more about member benefits and advantages!