Unemployment up by nearly 5,000 persons in the third quarter

Posted on 13. November 2020 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in the third quarter of 2020, the labour force participation rate was 71.8%, the employment rate was 66.3%, and the unemployment rate was 7.7%. There were 54,300 unemployed persons, which is 4,900 more than in the second quarter of the year.

According to Eveli Voolens, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, the unemployment rate was 3.8 percentage points higher than in the third quarter of 2019. Most of the unemployed persons had been unemployed for less than half a year. “34,100 unemployed persons were looking for either full-time or part-time work and 20,000 were looking for only full-time work. The number of long-term unemployed increased, and totalled 9,400,” added Voolens.

In the third quarter, there were 652,700 employed persons, of whom 574,100 worked full-time and 78,600 worked part-time. “Compared to the same time last year, the employment rate fell by 2.7 percentage points. It was highest for persons aged 25–49. While the number of part-time employed persons did not change much year on year, the number of persons employed full-time declined by 24,200,” explained Voolens. The female employment rate was 62.5% and the male employment rate 70.3%.

By economic activity, employment was highest in manufacturing, although it decreased year on year. However, in some economic activities, the number of employed persons increased: the most in construction.

Employed persons by economic activity, 3rd quarter 2019, 3rd quarter 2020 (thousands)

The number of inactive persons in the third quarter amounted to 277,200, which is slightly more than a year ago. The main reasons for inactivity were retirement, studies and illness or disability.

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Up-to-date information on the labour market is available on the website of Statistics Estonia under short-term labour market statistics. The data are updated each week on the basis of the employment register.

The unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force (the sum of employed and unemployed persons). 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 estimates are based on the data of the Labour Force Survey, which Statistics Estonia has been conducting since 1995. Every quarter, 5,000 persons participate in the survey. For the statistical activity, 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.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.


For further information:

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181