Number of unemployed persons up by 8,500 from last year

Posted on 15 August 2023, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in the second quarter of 2023, the unemployment rate was 6.7%, the employment rate was 69.2%, and the labour force participation rate was 74.2%.

Tea Vassiljeva, analyst at Statistics Estonia, noted that unemployment indicators have now started an upward trend. “In the second quarter, there were 50,200 unemployed persons, which is 8,500 more than in the same quarter last year and 11,100 more than in the first quarter this year.” Vassiljeva added that the biggest change has taken place in female unemployment. “There were 23,500 unemployed men in the second quarter – 200 fewer than in the second quarter last year. However, the number of unemployed women totalled 26,700, which is 8,700 more than last year,” she said.

Compared with the first quarter of 2023, the rise in unemployment was also more marked among women – the number of unemployed women rose by 8,000 and the number of unemployed men by 3,100. “The unemployment rate was 6.3% for males and 7.1% for females. Among men, the unemployment rate grew mainly with age – in the age group 50–74, male unemployment (8.5%) is significantly higher than female unemployment (5.6%).”

Unemployment rate by sex, quarters 2020–2023

The number of employed persons was 694,800. It grew by 21,300 compared with the second quarter of 2022, but there was a slight fall compared with the first quarter of this year. “The numbers of men and women in employment were almost the same – 347,500 and 347,300, respectively. Since the size of the working-age population in 2023 has increased compared with the beginning of last year, the employment rate remained relatively stable at 69.2% despite the rise in the number of employed persons,” said Vassiljeva.

Number of employed, unemployed and inactive persons, quarters 2020–2023

There was also a decrease in the number of inactive persons and a rise in the labour force participation rate, i.e. the share of 15–74-year-olds who wish and are able to work (total of employed and unemployed persons). In the second quarter of 2022, 73.1% of the working-age population were employed or seeking employment, whereas the labour force participation rate in the second quarter of 2023 was 74.2% – the highest of recent years. There were 259,000 economically inactive persons, which is 4,200 fewer than in the second quarter last year and 9,600 fewer than in the first quarter of 2023.

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.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database and in the labour market application of Statistics Estonia and the Ministry of Social Affairs at (in Estonian).

When using Statistics Estonia’s data and graphs, please indicate the source.

For further information:

Vahur Koorits
Communications Partner
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9204

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