According to the data of the Labour Force Survey, the estimated number of unemployed persons, which had been 80,000 in the 1st quarter of the current year, decreased by 9,000 persons in the 2nd quarter. The unemployment rate was 10.2% 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 11.5% and 13.3%, respectively.
Compared by age groups, the unemployment was the smallest among elderly people. The unemployment rate of people aged 50–74 decreased the most: from 9.2% in the 1st quarter to 7.2% in the 2nd quarter. The unemployment decreased also among people aged 25–49, but increased slightly among young people.
Even though the majority of people aged 15–24 are economically inactive (mainly due to studies), unemployment has always been bigger among the youth than among older people. During the peak of the economic crisis, at the beginning of 2010, the youth unemployment rate was even over 40%. In the 2nd quarter of the current year, 101,000 of persons aged 15–24 were economically inactive and 71,000 were economically active people (labour force), of whom 54,000 were employed and 17,000 were unemployed. The youth unemployment rate or the share of unemployed persons aged less than 25 among the labour force of the same age was 24.4%, which is bigger compared to the previous quarter as well as to the same quarter of the previous year (then the youth unemployment rate was 22.7% and 23.6%, respectively).
Unemployment rate and youth unemployment rate, 1st quarter 2007 – 2nd quarter 2012
The unemployed who had been looking for a job for one year or more (long-term unemployed) numbered 37,000 in the 2nd quarter, of whom 24,000 had been looking for a job for two years or more (very long-term unemployed). The share of long-term unemployed among the unemployed was 52%, which is smaller than in the previous quarter (59%). The share of very long-term unemployed remained the same (33%).
In the 2nd quarter of the current year, the estimated number of employed persons was 624,000, which is by 10,000 or 1.6% more compared to the previous quarter. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the number of employed persons increased by 22,000 or 3.6%.
Employment has increased in most of the economic activities, but the number of persons employed in manufacturing, trade and real estate activities in the 2nd quarter of the current year was smaller compared to the previous quarter as well as to the same quarter of the previous year.
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.