Unemployment decreased in the 2nd quarter

news release no 100

News release has been corrected on 16 August 2010. Please consider the word marked in red as correct.

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2010, the estimated number of unemployed persons was 128,000 and the unemployment rate 18.6%. Unemployment decreased for the first time after a continuous growth of nearly two years.

The number of unemployed persons, which had continuously been growing since the second half of 2008 and risen to a record high 137,000 persons in the 1st quarter of the current year, decreased by 9,000 persons in the 2nd quarter. The unemployment rate fell from 19.8% to 18.6%. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, when the unemployed persons numbered 92,000 and the unemployment rate was 13.5%, unemployment was still remarkably bigger in the 2nd quarter of the current year.

Above all, unemployment is a problem among men. Two years ago, the unemployment rate of men as well as that of women were around 4%, but further on unemployment increased especially rapidly among men. In the 1st quarter of the current year, the unemployment rate of men rose to 25.2%. In the 2nd quarter, the unemployment rate of men decreased to 22.6%, but was still considerably higher compared to the unemployment rate of women (14.8%).

Unemployment rate by sex, 1st quarter 2005 – 2nd quarter 2010

Diagram:Unemployment rate by sex, 1st quarter 2005 – 2nd quarter 2010

The number of new unemployed persons was decreasing in the last quarters, but long-term unemployment was still growing. In the 2nd quarter, 58,000 unemployed persons had been looking for a job for one year or more (long-term unemployed), of whom 19,000 had been looking for a job for two years or more (very long-term unemployed). The share of long-term unemployed persons among unemployed persons increased to 46%, the share of very long-term unemployed persons to 15%. The number of persons who had stopped seeking a job or discouraged persons was also bigger in the 2nd quarter than in the 1st quarter (9,000 and 7,000 respectively).

In the 2nd quarter of this year, the estimated number of employed persons was 559,000, which is by 5,000 (0.9%) bigger than in the previous quarter. Employment increased due to seasonal and other temporary jobs typical of the 2nd quarter. The growth in employment was most influenced by the increased number of persons employed in manufacturing; accommodation and food service; real estate; and arts, entertainment and recreation activities. In the 2nd quarter of the current year compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the number of employed persons was by 34,000 (5.7%) smaller.

The unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force (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 European Union Member States on the basis of harmonised methodology.

For further information:

Ülle Pettai
Leading Statistician
Social Surveys Service
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 6258 475

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.