Tuesday, the Statistics Finland said in a report that the jobless rate climbed to 8.3% in March from 7.6% in February. Economists expected the rate to be only 7.8%. A year earlier, in March, the rate was 6.8%.

During the month, there were 222,000 unemployed persons, up from 180,000 in the previous year.

At the same time, the number of employed persons decreased to 2.44 million in March from 2.47 million last year. The employment rate for the 15 to 64 old population declined to 68.1% in March from 69% last year.

Meanwhile, the labor force increased to 2.67 million persons in March from 2.65 million in the previous year. The labor force participation rate, however, remained unchanged at 66.4% from last year.

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