Fall in unemployment slowing down, more and more people working part-time
According to Statistics Estonia, in the first quarter of 2023, the unemployment rate was 5.3%, the employment rate was 69.4%, and the labour force participation rate was 73.3%.
Tea Vassiljeva, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the downward trend in the unemployment rate has slowed. “In the first quarter of 2023, there were 39,100 unemployed persons. This is 500 fewer than at the same time a year ago, but 300 more than in the last quarter of 2022. Compared with the same time last year, the number of people who have been unemployed for 12 months or longer has decreased the most, by 2,900 persons, whereas the number of people unemployed for less than six months has increased by 3,300,“ noted Vassiljeva.
The unemployment rate (5.3%) was two percentage points lower in the first quarter of this year than at the same time a year earlier. Compared with last year, it fell in Northern Estonia but rose in Southern and Central Estonia.
The number of people in employment continued to grow in the first quarter, mainly due to those working part-time. “In the first quarter of 2023, there were 696,600 people in the 15–74 age group who were employed, i.e. who worked at least one hour during the reference week. This is 21,300 more than at the same time in 2022 and 16,000 more than in the last quarter of last year. 586,400 of them worked full-time in their main job and 110,200 part-time,” Vassiljeva added.
The number and share of people in part-time employment has been growing steadily since the third quarter of 2021, reaching 15.8% of all employed persons in the first quarter of 2023. There has also been an increase in the number of underemployed persons, i.e. persons who work part-time but would like to work more. In the first quarter of this year, the number of underemployed was 10,400, up by 3,500 compared with the same time in 2022 and the highest in two years.
In the first quarter of 2023, there were 268,400 inactive persons, which is 4,900 more than the year before. The number of women among the inactive was 147,500, down from a year earlier, while there were 120,800 inactive men, 7,100 more than at the same time last year.
The unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force. The employment rate is the share of the employed in the population aged 15–74. The labour force participation rate shows the share of the labour force in the population aged 15–74.
The Labour Force Survey statistics include permanent residents of Estonia who live or plan to live in Estonia for at least a year or more. The number of temporarily protected Ukrainian refugees included in the Labour Force Survey is too small to give estimates on them. More information about Ukrainians in the Estonian labour market can be found in the dedicated section of short-term statistics.
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Helen Maria Raadik
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press [at] stat.ee (press[at]stat[dot]ee)