In 2020, agriculture and horticulture employed some 138,000 people who carried out 70,800 annual work units (AWU). The largest employee group consisted of farmers and their family members, while the number of hired employees, and especially their workload, have increased. A significant part of hired employees come from outside Finland.
The number of farmers, shareholders of corporate groups and their family members totalled 90,500 in 2020. Farmers and their family members accounted for 65 per cent of agricultural and horticultural work. The share of farmers and their family members from the total workload has decreased, as it was roughly 80 per cent throughout the 2010s.
“In the 2020 agricultural census, it was possible, for the first time, to report the workload of more than one owner for family-run farms. This is why the number and workload of farmers have increased in the statistics since 2016, when the previous statistics of agricultural and horticultural labour force were compiled. Correspondingly, the number of family members has decreased, now that part of those who were previously registered as family members are classified as farmers,” says Jaana Kyyrä, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
The number of foreign employees has increased
Hired employees accounted for 30 per cent of the total workload measured by AWU. The workload of hired full-time employees was slightly larger than that of short-term employees, even though the number of short-term employees was nearly three times higher compared with full-time employees. Farm relief workers and contractors accounted for five per cent of agricultural and horticultural work.
In 2020, a total of 20,800 foreign employees worked on agricultural and horticultural farms in Finland. Of these, 3,400 were full-time and 17,400 fixed-term employees. The number of hired foreign employees has increased by roughly 5,000 since 2016. “Foreign labour force” means non-Finnish employees hired to work on farms.
“Compared with the previous 2010 agricultural census, the number of agricultural and horticultural enterprises has decreased by 23 per cent. In addition, the amount of work carried out in agriculture and horticulture has decreased by ten per cent. During the same period, the cultivated area has even increased slightly, and no significant changes have taken place in production volumes,” Kyyrä says.
The 2020 agricultural census collected data about the agricultural and horticultural labour force
Data about the agricultural and horticultural labour force was collected from nearly 13,000 farms during the 2020 agricultural census. The collection of data ended in April. Nearly 90 per cent of Finnish farmers responded to the survey. The agricultural census forms the basis of five statistics. Preliminary results for the whole country will be published in 2021. They will be followed by the results of other other entrepreneurship in agricultural and horticultural enterprises to be published in October. The final results will be published during the first half of 2022. The final results will also be published by region and production sector.