HELSINKI, Finland, April 13(World News)
Immigrants are expected to account for half of Finland's growth during the next 10 years, but even that will not resolve an impending labor shortage.
Finland recorded a major population surge during the 1990s as Ingrians, or ethnic Finns, moved from the former Soviet Union. Refugees fleeing fighting in Somalia also boosted Finland's growth.
During recent years, an immigrant influx helped Finland grow by 12,000 to 13,000 people annually
However, this year is the first during which people retiring from the labor market exceed the number of newcomers, Helsinki Sonomat reported. The biggest surge of retirees will come in 2008 and 2010.
The Finnish government is working on a plan to encourage more skilled people to move to Finland to overcome projected worker shortages.