Employment rate at highest for 20 years

news release no 119

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 3rd quarter of 2017, the employment rate was 68.3%, the unemployment rate 5.2% and the labour force participation rate 72%. Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016, the unemployment rate fell and the employment rate reached its highest level for 20 years.

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, the labour force participation rate was at its highest in recent years, mainly due to an increase in the number of unemployed persons. In the 3rd quarter, the labour force participation rate remained on the same level, but typically for summer, unemployment decreased and employment increased, resulting in the highest employment rate for 20 years. Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016, the number of employed persons increased by 13,000 persons.

In the most active age group in the labour market, i.e. among the 25–54-year-olds, 90% of men and 79% of women were employed. Among the 55–64-year-olds, men and women were equally active in the labour market (labour force participation rate 72%), but the employment rate was higher among women. In this age group, 8% of men capable of working and willing to work were unemployed.

Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 16,000 persons and the unemployment rate by 2.3 percentage points. In the 3rd quarter of 2017, the unemployment rate for Estonians was 4.4% and for non-Estonians, 7%.

The number of inactive persons continues to decline. Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016, there were less of those who were inactive due to parental leave or caring for children or other family members, but more of those who were inactive because of ongoing studies. Compared to the same period of the previous year, there were also more of those who were inactive due to illness or disability, but compared to the 2nd quarter of 2017, the number of persons inactive for this reason remained unchanged.

Employment rate by sex and age group, 3rd quarter, 2013–2017

The employment rate is the share of the employed in the working-age population (aged 15–74) and the unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force (the sum of employed and unemployed persons). The labour force participation rate shows the share of the labour force in the population aged 15–74.

The estimates are based on the data of the Estonian Labour Force Survey. Statistics Estonia has been conducting the Labour Force Survey since 1995 and every quarter, 5,000 persons participate in the survey. The Labour Force Survey is carried out by statistical organisations in all the European Union Member States on the basis of a harmonised methodology. In Estonia, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Social Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

For further information:

Ülle Vannas
Senior Analyst
Social Statistics and Analysis Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9292

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database (employed persons, inactive persons, employees, unemployed persons, general data on the labour market).