Helsinki: Finland is suffering from a shortage of workers. This long-standing problem has flown under the radar, hidden by more prominent headlines, most notably the Nordic country's pivot towards NATO. But it could prove a key issue as Finns head to the polls for a general election on April 2 to decide who should steer the country next.
Since pandemic restrictions eased, the labor shortage has become even worse. In Uusimaa — the most populous region of Finland that includes the capital Helsinki — the share of unfilled vacancies has increased from 25% in 2019 to almost 60% in 2022.
Finland's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment recognizes 56 occupations as suffering from worker shortages. Health and social services account for the majority of the top 15 jobs lacking workers.
In a televised national debate in March, Finnish party leaders from across the political spectrum openly admitted that the country is currently operating without a well-functioning healthcare system, partly because there aren't enough nurses.