"The unemployment rate was 7.3%, or 0.3 percentage points higher than the previous year", the press release read.
The ministry said, citing the Employment and Economic Development Office that a total of 309,100 unemployed jobseekers had been registered at the end of March, showing a year-on-year increase of 70,700.
"The rapid increase in the number of unemployed jobseekers and particularly in the number of full-time lay-offs was due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic", the ministry added.
According to the data, as for the end of March, the number of long-term unemployed people — those who had been unemployed without interruption for more than a year — amounted to 64,900, up 1,200 compared to the previous year.
The number of unemployed jobseekers aged over 50 was 107,300, representing an increase of 16,700, while the number of unemployed jobseekers aged under 25 was 41,100, representing an increase of 11,600 compared to March 2019.
Finland has so far registered 4,129 COVID-19 cases and 149 fatalities. Over the past several days, the daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases ranged between 100 and 150. The Scandinavian nation declared a state of emergency on March 16, closing borders, shutting schools, and asking people to avoid public spaces, in an effort to stop the epidemic from spreading.