Main insights 2024

The annual labor market survey compiles information on industry wages and their trends, working hours, skills development, and work well-being issues. The Ornamo labour market survey was conducted in January to February 2024 and answered by 236 employees, students and unemployed designers within the specified time-limit. 

Increased uncertainty in working life

The harsher financial situation has resulted in a marked increase in layoffs and dismissals compared to the previous year. Both measures had been carried out at more than 20% of workplaces. Still 77% considered their job to be secure. Less than a quarter of employees feel insecure about their jobs. This year, the development of staff numbers in workplaces has returned to the level of the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, after a slight increase. The number of employees had also increased from only 31% in the previous year, but decreased at 34% of workplaces.

Design students perceive the labor market situation in their field as less favorable. The majority (64%) of respondents feel the labour market situation is somewhat or rather bad. Only a small minority (4%) feel that the general labor market situation in their field is good, compared to 13% a year earlier. 

Tip: Being part of the unemployment fund brings security

Tip: Legal advisory provides support for the twists and turns of working life

Designer wages continue to climb

Designers’ salaries have continued to grow, although many wish they earned even more. Ornamon’s salary charts reveal the impact of factors such as the design field and job role, experience, and location on salaries. This information benefits recent graduates, those preparing for salary negotiations, and employers alike.

The most common reasons for salary increases were personal performance, general raises, moving to a new job, employer-specific raises, and new positions or roles at one’s current workplace.

Tip: Check out the salary statistics

The majority of designers have responsibility expertise

This year, the survey investigated questions related to sustainability. The results showed that designers have significant expertise in this area, but not all have been able to utilize it in their work. 77 percent of respondents stated that they have been able to use their skills from the perspectives of sustainability and environmental sustainability at least somewhat. However, the sustainability directive that came into effect at the beginning of the year imposes new sustainability requirements on companies and will significantly change their operations in the coming years. According to the survey, designers are not yet very familiar with the impact of the sustainability directive on their work, nor have many even heard of the directive.

Tip: Sustainability and responsibility skills

Job satisfaction is at a moderately good level

Views on job satisfaction among employees in the design field have slightly declined from the previous year but remain generally good. Over 90 percent of employees reported that they manage well at work and can work independently enough. Colleagues are willingly helped to succeed in their tasks, indicating a good working atmosphere among employees.

According to Ornamon’s labor market surveys, the average length of the workweek for employees in the design sector was 37.2 hours, and 16 percent work at least 40 hours a week. The ideal workweek length, according to respondents, would be 2.7 hours shorter than the average, at 34.5 hours.

Increased willingness to change jobs

Employee turnover is on the rise. According to the survey, 25% of employees expressed their intention to change jobs in 2024. The previous year, the corresponding figure stood at 15%. Moreover, 24% indicated the possibility of changing jobs.

Reasons for job changes include limited career advancement prospects, overwhelming workloads, job insecurity, and dissatisfaction with current roles and compensation.

Tip: Designduunit service gather jobs from the design field


DESIGN Work 2024 summary

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How was the research conducted?

Ornamo’s labor market survey was conducted in January-February 2024, with over 200 employees, students, and unemployed designers responding by the deadlines. The survey was conducted for the first time in both Finnish and English.

Of the 161 employee respondents, 20 percent were interior architects or designers by profession. Service designers made up 15 percent of the respondents, and digital designers 12 percent. Other job titles included designer, manager, and industrial designer. Of the respondents, 82 percent were women and 16 percent were men.

The most common job titles in the design sector are interior architect, service designer, digital designer, and industrial designer. Today, designers work in large companies across various industries, such as software, higher education, real estate and construction, and public administration. Additionally, a large number work in design offices.

Employees in the design sector differ from the general workforce in that the proportion of permanent and full-time employment relationships is slightly higher than the national average.

The survey was conducted and the research compiled by researcher Pekka Lith.