According to the data of the Labour Force Survey, the estimated number of unemployed persons, which had been 99,000 in the 1st quarter of the current year, decreased by 7,000 persons in the 2nd quarter. The unemployment rate was 13.3% in the 2nd quarter, which is smaller compared to the previous quarter as well as to the same quarter of the previous year, when the unemployment rate was 14.4% and 18.6% respectively.
In the 2nd quarter, the unemployed who had been looking for a job for one year or more (long-term unemployed) numbered 51,000, of whom 29,000 had been looking for a job even for two years or more (very long-term unemployed). The long-term unemployment decreased but the very long-term unemployment increased in the 2nd quarter. Among the unemployed, the share of the very long-term unemployed increased to 31%.
Unemployed by duration of unemployment, 1st quarter 2008 – 2nd quarter 2011
In the 2nd quarter of the current year, the estimated number of employed persons was 603,000, which is by 11,000 or 1.9% more compared to the previous quarter. Employment increased mainly due to a growing number of seasonal and other temporary jobs typical of the 2nd quarter.
Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the number of employed persons increased by 44,000 or 7.8%. Employment has increased in most of the economic activities during the year. The growth in employment was most of all influenced by manufacturing, construction and trade, where the number of employed persons increased by 13,000, 11,000 and 10,000, respectively, compared to the 2nd quarter of 2010.
This year, the economic activity of the population has remarkably increased. Economically inactive 15–74-year-old persons numbered 335,000 in the 2nd quarter of 2011, which is by 4,000 less compared to the previous quarter and by 13,000 less than a year ago. Among inactive persons the number of students, persons on parental leave and retired persons decreased. The number of persons inactive due to studies has decreased because of the decreasing number of young people in studying age, and the number of persons on parental leave – because of declined births. The number of inactive persons of pensionable age has decreased mainly among women, because for women the pensionable age is being gradually increased.
The number of persons with health problems and the number of discouraged persons i.e. persons who have stopped seeking for a job have both increased among inactive persons. Discouraged persons numbered 12,000 in the 2nd quarter of this year, but 9,000 a year ago.
The unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force (the sum of employed and unemployed persons). The estimates are based on the data of the Labour Force Survey. Statistics Estonia has been conducting the Labour Force Survey since 1995 and every quarter 5,000 persons participate in it. The Labour Force Survey is carried out by statistical organisations in all the European Union Member States on the basis of harmonised methodology.