Finland's work force was the country's most valuable economic asset; managing it posed the greatest challenges to both business and government. Like most European countries, Finland suffered from unemployment, but employers reported difficulties in finding qualified workers. Although the country boasted a consensual approach to industrial relations, strikes often interrupted production. Likewise, Finland's workers enjoyed a high standard of living, but regular wage increases contributed to domestic inflation, worsened unemployment, and exacerbated balance-of- payments difficulties. Business often granted seemingly excessive wage increases, yet alienated workers through adamant opposition to increased democracy in the workplace. Government policies addressed labor problems with only limited success.
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