Statistics Estonia published data on Ukrainian citizens in the labour market

Posted on 17 June 2022, 15:09

Commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Statistics Estonia analyses the employment situation of Ukrainian refugees under temporary protection and the Ukrainian citizens staying in the country on other grounds. Data will be updated regularly from now on.

Ukrainian citizens and their family members who have come to Estonia because of the war can apply for temporary protection, which includes the right to work in this country. According to Ulla Saar, Deputy Secretary General for Work Policy at the Ministry of Social Affairs, labour market data is crucial to know how temporary protection beneficiaries are faring in Estonia. “It is important for us that war refugees who have come to Estonia and who stay here are able to become independent as soon as possible, find a job, and thus contribute to society. More than 7,000 jobs are currently available through the Unemployment Insurance Fund,” Saar said. 

On the basis of the information published by Statistics Estonia, the Ministry of Social Affairs makes its own forecasts and, where appropriate, takes it into account when developing labour market services. “For example, with the help of career advisers and consultants, we can look at the obstacles faced by the working-age refugees who have not yet entered the labour market. This may be due to caring for young children, or working remotely for an employer in Ukraine, or the need to upgrade skills in order to find a suitable job,” Saar added.

Kaja Sõstra and Märt Leesment, leading analysts at Statistics Estonia, point out that quite a large proportion of working-age people who have received temporary protection have already found a job in the relatively short period between March and June. “The employment rate of people aged 20–64 who have been granted temporary protection is rising every week and has already reached 38%,” said Sõstra.  

Ukrainian citizens are employed in all occupational groups. “Compared to the labour market as a whole, there are relatively more Ukrainian nationals mainly among unskilled workers as well as craft and related trades workers, and relatively less among managers and professionals,” observed Sõstra. “Ukrainian refugees are relatively highly educated but the lack of Estonian language skills and the urgent need to earn a living may force them to accept jobs that do not match their qualifications and educational levels.”

Among beneficiaries of temporary protection, the most common occupation is that of a cleaner; the occupation of a welder is most popular among those with a residence permit but without temporary protection, and Ukrainian citizens with short-term work permits most often work as packers. However, the latter group, we also find highly skilled professionals, in particular software developers.

As in the labour market in general, the most popular economic activity among Ukrainians is industry. “However, there are some differences in activities between groups of Ukrainians. The beneficiaries of temporary protection are more often employed in the trade sector as well as in accommodation and food service activities. Ukrainian citizens with short-term work permits are more likely to find employment in administrative and support service activities and in construction,” stated Leesment.

Although in terms of numbers, the majority of jobs for Ukrainians are located in Tallinn and Harju county, in comparison to the labour market as a whole they are fairly evenly spread across Estonia.

Data on individuals are taken from the population register and information on the existence of an employment relationship is obtained from the employment register. Included are citizens of Ukraine who have fled to Estonia from the war and have been granted temporary protection, their family members (including citizens of other countries), and citizens of Ukraine staying in Estonia on other grounds.

Data and the methodology used to collect them can be found on Statistics Estonia's website for short-term statistics. More categories will be added in the future.

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