Number of unemployed down by 9,200 from last year

Posted on 16 May 2022, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in the first quarter of 2022, the labour force participation rate was 73.1%, the employment rate was 69%, and the unemployment rate was 5.5%*.

Katriin Põlluäär, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that there were 39,600 unemployed persons in the first quarter. “That is 9,200 less than at the same time last year, however, compared to the last quarter of 2021, the number of the unemployed has risen by 3,300 persons,” added Põlluäär.

There were 21,600 unemployed men and 18,000 unemployed women. More than half of them (55.6%) had been unemployed for less than six months. “The number of people who had been out of work for more than a year was 11,100, a few thousand less than a year ago,” Põlluäär explained.

In the first quarter of 2022, there were 675,300 employed persons, which is 24,800 more than last year. Of the employed, 341,800 were men and 333,500 were women. “The number of the employed has increased for both men and women, in the public and private sectors, and it is the highest recorded in recent years,” added the leading analyst.

Number of employed persons by quarter, 2019–2022

Of the employed persons, 86% worked full-time. The rest worked part-time, and two-thirds of the part-time employees were women. The number of underemployed persons, i.e. persons who work part-time but would like to work more and are available for additional work within two weeks, was 7,000 in the first quarter of 2022.

The rise in the number of the employed led to an increase in labour force participation rate, which shows the share of labour force or the total number of the employed and unemployed persons. “In the first quarter of 2022, it was 73.1% the highest labour force participation rate in a long time,” said Põlluäär.

There were 263,500 inactive persons in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the last quarter of 2021 and the same period a year earlier, the number of the inactive has fallen. The main reasons for inactivity were retirement, studies, and illness or disability.

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 estimates are based on the data of the Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics Estonia since 1995. Every quarter, 5,000 persons participate in the survey. The main representative of public interest for the survey is the Ministry of Social Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data required for this statistical activity. Due to the requirements of the Integrated European Social Statistics (IESS) regulation, as of 2021, the Estonian Labour Force Survey is based on a new methodology.

*Statistics do not reflect the Ukrainian war refugees who arrived in Estonia in the first quarter of 2022.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

See also the labour market application of Statistics Estonia and the Ministry of Social Affairs at (in Estonian).


For further information:

Hanna-Liisa Ruul
Communications Partner
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9264

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