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Finland's Jobless Rate Falls to 16-Year May Low of 8.5%

Finland's unemployment rate continued its downward trend, falling to 8.5% last month, its lowest May rate in 16 years, the government statistics agency said Tuesday.

In May 2006, 10.1% of the labor force was out of work while in April this year the joblessness rate was 7.2%, Statistics Finland said.

Spurred by strong economic growth, Finland's month-on-month unemployment rate has been gradually falling since March 2005. In May 1991, it was 6.5%.

The latest figures mean that last month 232,000 people were out of work in a population of 5.3 million - down from 275,000 in May 2006.

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