Estonia’s unemployment rate at 5.8%; the number of unemployed falls year-on-year

According to Statistics Estonia, in the second quarter of 2022, the labour force participation rate was 73.1%, the employment rate was 68.8% and the unemployment rate was 5.8%; there were 41,700 unemployed people in the second quarter, which is 5,600 less than at the same time last year.

However, 2,100 more people than in the first quarter of 2022 were unemployed. Around 23,700 of the unemployed were men and 18,000 were women, according to Statistics Estonia, the country’s official statistics agency.

“The number of unemployed people increased a little in the second quarter but, looking at recent years, it has been relatively low and mostly in decline overall,” Katriin Põlluäär, a leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said in a statement.

In the second quarter, there were 9,000 people who had been unemployed for more than a year – these are the long-term unemployed.

“It has been some time since this indicator was so low. The last time that the number of the long-term unemployed was this small was at the beginning of the pandemic in the second quarter of 2020,” Põlluäär said.

Less inactive people than in 2021

There were 673,500 employed people in the second quarter, which is 31,600 more than in the second quarter last year. Of the employed, 337,100 were men and 336,400 were women. A quarter of employed people have a job in the public sector (24%), while the majority (76%) work in the private sector.

Around 85% of the employed people worked full-time, with the rest working part-time. The number of underemployed people, ie people who work part-time but would like to work more and are available for additional work within two weeks, was 6,800 in the second quarter.

In the second quarter of 2022, there were 263,200 inactive people. This number included 116,400 men and 146,800 women. The main reasons for inactivity were retirement, studies and illness or disability.

“The number of inactive people has decreased compared with the previous quarter and the same quarter of last year. There were 157,100 Estonians and 106,100 non-Estonians among inactive people,” Põlluäär pointed out.

The unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force. The employment rate is the share of the employed in the population aged 15–74. The labour force participation rate shows the share of the labour force in the population aged 15–74.

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