Number of unemployed persons up by 4,600 from previous quarter
According to Statistics Estonia, in the third quarter of 2023, the unemployment rate was 7.3%, the labour force participation rate 74.5%, and the employment rate 69.1%.
Tea Vassiljeva, analyst at Statistics Estonia, noted that there were 54,800 unemployed persons in the third quarter of this year, which is 14,200 more than a year earlier and 4,600 more than in the second quarter. “The unemployment rate in the third quarter was 7.3%, up 1.7 percentage points from a year ago and 0.6 percentage points from the second quarter,” said Vassiljeva. She added that there were 28,800 unemployed women and 26,000 unemployed men in the third quarter, with an unemployment rate of 7.7% for women and 6.9% for men.
The number of people in employment was 693,700 in the third quarter of 2023. “This was higher than in the third quarter of last year, but the increase was due to the overall population growth, and the employment rate, at 69.1%, was still lower than a year earlier, when it was 69.5%,” Vassiljeva explained. While in recent years the third quarter employment figures have traditionally been higher than those for the second quarter, this year the number of people in employment in the third quarter has fallen slightly from the previous quarter, namely by 1,100. There was a decline in all age groups, with the exception of 65–74-year-olds, among whom 1,000 more people were in employment in the third quarter than in the second quarter.
“The drop in the number of people employed in the public sector also stands out. In the third quarter of this year, 160,000 people were active in the public sector, which is 4,600 fewer than a year earlier and 16,100 fewer than in the second quarter. The share of people employed in the public sector fell to 22.9% of all people in employment,” said the analyst.
By economic sector, compared with the same time last year, the number of employed persons increased in the services sector and decreased in industry and construction. In regional breakdown the exception is Central Estonia, where the number of the employed grew also in the industry and construction sector year on year. The analyst pointed out that in comparison with the second quarter, the reverse trend was observed: there has been a slight increase in industry and construction, while the number of people in employment in the services sector has decreased.
“People's interest in working continues to rise, as shown by the fact that, compared with the second quarter, an additional 3,400 previously inactive persons joined the labour force in the third quarter,” Vassiljeva said. The analyst added that the number of inactive people decreased by 2,000 from a year earlier. The labour force participation rate rose to 74.5% in the third quarter of 2023.
The labour force, or economically active population, comprises persons in employment and unemployed persons – people who are willing and able to work. 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 on our website.
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