Chilling December temperatures also had a freezing effect on the number of unemployed which stopped declining. Lower construction output is usually the main seasonal contributing factor. According to our estimates, the number of people searching for jobs increased by 15,000 in December thus bringing the unemployment rate to 6.0%, up from 5.6% in November. However, after excluding seasonal effects, the overall development on the labor market has been extremely favourable. The average unemployment rate in 2007 stood at about 6.6% while a year earlier it was 8.1%. It was mainly the strong economic growth that was behind the decline in the unemployment rate and creating more job opportunities. Structural characteristics of the labor market also seem to be improving.