Can you spot the questions not being asked?
- How can we best induce the younger generation to marry and procreate to meet Finland’s economic and demographic needs?
- How best to disengage (step by step over time) from the welfare state that devours entrepreneurship, overall productivity and personal wealth?
- How can we import more people for the jobs market while maintaining decades long systemic +200 000 permanently unemployed, or no longer seeking work?
These are just a few off the top of my head.
Stories in today’s print press include a look at whether young immigrants can help solve Finland’s problem of an ageing population and maintaining public service costs
Daily Helsingin Sanomat (HS) leads with an in-depth article “Finland gets younger, but the dependency ratio remains,” on the country’s changing demographics and their effects.
As the employed foot the largest portion of Finland’s public services bill, an ageing population is complicating the situation. However, on average, new immigrants are younger than the general population and young immigrants are more often employed than their Finnish counterparts of the same age group, according to statistics. But, as HS points out, the number of immigrants is still small, about 30,000 annually; they can not solve the dependency ratio challenge alone.
Last year the number of immigrants who were asylum seekers was 32,648,000. According to officials approximately 10,000 of them have been allowed to stay in Finland – a relatively low number and just enough people to fill the seats at Töölö Stadium, which has 10,300 seats.
HS asks the experts for advice on the dependency ratio problem, which immigration is unlikely to solve in the near future. According to professor Juho Saari at the University of Eastern “the solution would be to extend careers, provide better interim job opportunities for the long-term unemployed, and renew the terms of making people redundant (in work contracts).”
On the other hand, political science professor Rolle Aho tells HS that “we have a mutual interest in employing immigrants, and the third sector is already doing a lot of work towards that.”