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Recent survey: Significant change in Finnish people’s attitudes towards immigrants – two out of three want more labour immigrants

According to a recent survey by Trade Union JHL, Finnish people have an even more tolerant attitude towards labour immigration if the immigrants’ terms and conditions of employment are like those of Finnish people. Two out of three respondents (67%) are of the opinion that Finland needs more labour immigrants. Kantar-TNS conducted the survey by commission of JHL, over 1,000 people replied to it.

In the space of a few years, support for immigration has clearly increased. In a survey conducted four years ago, 52 per cent of those who replied said that Finland needs more immigration.

Foreign labour is especially needed in so-called worker occupations, i.e. cleaning services, practical nurse and registered nurse work, other health and social services work, construction, catering, repair and cleaning of streets and traffic lanes, and in industrial work.

– For a long time, Trade Union JHL has been highlighting the need for a quick solution to the shortage of labour within public services. We need improvements to working conditions and pay, so that the current professionals can manage to keep working and feel well at work. Päivi Niemi-Laine, President of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL, emphasises that we also need to increase labour immigration because of the large number of competent employees that will retire from the public sector during the upcoming years.

For Finnish people, it is important that employers hold on to the terms and conditions of employment. At this moment, 90% of those who replied stand for labour immigration under regular Finnish terms and conditions of employment. Out of the respondents, 83% want the employers to be held more strictly accountable if foreign employees’ terms and conditions of employment are neglected.

– Increased immigration requires the increased monitoring of the terms and conditions of employment. Head of Public Affairs, Vesa Mauriala, sheds light on what this means – stricter interference in underpayment, the right for trade unions to take legal action, and improving the Act on Public Contracts.

Because of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the attitudes of Finns towards helping people who are escaping war and environmental disasters have become markedly more positive, as demonstrated by the survey. Right now, 88% of the respondents have a positive attitude towards this.

See the actual report for more exact distributions based on background variables. The variables include gender, age, locality, level of education, socio-economic status, level of income, political views, relating to right-wing or left-wing politics, and social status. To put it simply based on the background variables, those who support the Finns Party differ markedly from the others.


KANTAR-TNS conducted the survey in the company’s weekly panel named Gallup Kanava. The material consists of 1,062 replies. The field work was conducted between 18 and 23 March 2022. The survey’s margin of error is approximately +/- 3.0%. The survey consisted of 25 statements, some of which concerned the consequences of labour immigration on Finnish employees’ terms and conditions of employment and on their employment rate.


More information

President Päivi Niemi-Laine 040 702 4772
Head of Public Affairs Vesa Mauriala 040 530 9702

JHL’s survey on labour immigration, March 2022 (in Finnish)