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Long-term unemployment at a record high, but light at the end of the tunnel

The rates of employment and unemployment in Helsinki have seen considerable variation between 1987 and 2016, the period examined in this article. At the end of 2016, the trend in unemployment has finally taken a turn for the better after a long difficult period. However, long-term unemployment remains at a record high.

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Are sociospatial differences cast in concrete?

Research results on segregation in the Helsinki metropolitan area indicate quite significant differences between sub-city areas in terms of income and education levels, percentages of immigrant population and employment rates (e.g. Vaattovaara & Kortteinen 2012; Vilkama 2012; Lönnqvist & Tuominen 2013). Although the general increase in education and income levels is evident across almost all areas, the differences have remained the same – or even increased – over the past decade (Vilkama et al. 2014). The increase in area differences has always been seen as a negative phenomenon, and various political measures have been taken to curb or reverse it. On the other hand, it would seem that social segregation is a fairly common and often permanent urban phenomenon.

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Perceived insecurity in Helsinki is spatially concentrated

Since 2003, Helsinki has regularly surveyed residents’ perceptions of security. Perceived insecurity is more of a problem for women than for men, and exposure to violence or threats quite understandably increase people’s sense of insecurity.

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