European and particularly Finnish economic news is full of doom and gloom. It just occurred to me to actually check up how bad things are. And while a few things are really going badly, very many measurable numbers show that were are actually quite well off when compared to past.
Just look at OECD report at http://www.oecd.org/els/emp/howdoesyourcountrycompare-finland.htm.
What it tells us about Finland is that when we compare year 2000 to 2012, we see that:
- unemployment has gone down (9.8 % -> 7.8 %)
- youth unemployment has gone down (20.3 % -> 17.3 %)
- long-term unemployment has gone down (29.0 % -> 21.7 % of the unemployed)
- the employment rate of working-age people has gone up (67.5 % -> 69.5 %)
- women's employment rate has increased (64.5 % -> 68.2 %)
- employment rate of older workers (55-64) has increased (42.3 % -> 58.5 %)
- the percentage of temporarily employed has gone down (16.5 % -> 15.7 %)
- annual working hours have decreased (1751 h -> 1672 h)
- average wages have gone up by about fifth (31 904 $ -> 39 125 $ in 2012 currency)
Almost everything is better than in 2000! The current growth figures are abysmal, so a good development cannot continue unless we fix that, but on the average, we are not doing badly at all.
Of course, some are more lucky than others, but even the income differences after taxes and transfers, including capital gains, remain rather similar to 2000 (Statistics Finland).
So perhaps we should complain a bit less!