Unemployment decreased in the 3rd quarter

news release no 143

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 3rd quarter of 2011, the unemployed persons numbered 77,000 and the unemployment rate was 10.9%. The unemployment of men decreased more than that of women.

According to the data of the Labour Force Survey, the estimated number of unemployed persons, which had been 92,000 in the 2nd quarter of the current year, decreased by 15,000 persons in the 3rd quarter. The unemployment rate was 10.9% in the 3rd quarter, which is remarkably smaller compared to the previous quarter as well as to the same quarter of the previous year, when the unemployment rate was 13.3% and 15.5%, respectively.

When the unemployment was the biggest, at the beginning of 2010, almost two thirds of the unemployed persons were men. Since then the unemployment started to decrease more rapidly among men compared to women and in the 3rd quarter of the current year the unemployed men numbered even less than unemployed women. The number of unemployed men decreased to 37,000, the number of unemployed women to 40,000 at the same time. The unemployment rate of men was 10.6% and that of women 11.3% in the 3rd quarter.

Unemployed by gender, 1st quarter 2008 – 3rd quarter 2011

Diagram: Unemployed by gender, 1st quarter 2008 – 3rd quarter 2011

In the 3rd quarter, the unemployed who had been looking for a job for one year or more (long-term unemployed) numbered 44,000, of whom 28,000 had been looking for a job for two years or more (very long-term unemployed). The number of very long-term unemployed decreased slightly but the share of them among the unemployed continued to grow. In the 2nd quarter 31% of the unemployed had been looking for a job for two years or more, but in the 3rd quarter their share increased to 36%.

In the 3rd quarter of the current year, the estimated number of employed persons was 628,000, which is by 25,000 or 4.2% more compared to the previous quarter. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the number of employed persons increased by 50,000 or 8.6%. By economic activities, the growth in employment was most of all influenced by construction and manufacturing, where the number of employed persons increased by 15,000 and 10,000, respectively, compared to the 3rd quarter of 2010.

Due to the growth in employment the number of unemployed as well as economically inactive persons decreased. The economically inactive persons (students, retired persons, homemakers, discouraged persons, etc.) aged 15–74 numbered 325,000 in the 3rd quarter of 2011, which is by 10,000 less compared to the previous quarter and by 26,000 less than a year ago. This year the number of persons inactive due to studies decreased most.

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.

For further information:

Ülle Pettai
Leading Statistician
Social Surveys Service
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 8475

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.