The number of unemployed persons is falling in Estonia

news release no 57
File added with corrected data

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2019, the labour force participation rate was 70.8%, the employment rate 67.5% and the unemployment rate 4.7%. The labour force participation rate and the employment rate remained at a similar level compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The unemployment rate, however, decreased by 2.1 percentage points.

In the 1st quarter of 2019, the number of employed persons was 661,800. As expected, the employment rate was highest in Northern Estonia and lowest in Northeastern Estonia. The number of part-time employees continues to grow. In the 1st quarter of 2019, the number of part-time employees was 90,300, which is 11,400 more than in the same quarter of the previous year.

The estimated number of unemployed persons in the 1st quarter of 2019 was 32,400. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 15,000. By age groups, the unemployment rate was lowest among the population aged 25–49 (4.3%); the unemployment rate among the population aged 50–74 was 4.7%. The rates have remained largely at the same level compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The unemployment rate of young people (population aged 15–24), however, decreased by 4.5 percentage points to 7.4%. It could be expected that the unemployment rate of young people decreased due to an increase in employment, but, unfortunately, also the employment rate of young people decreased. This may result from changes in the age structure of the population. Compared to 2018, the number of the population aged 15–19, who generally are enrolled in schools, increased in the 15–24 age group, and the number of the population aged 20–24 decreased. This is also the reason for the decreased employment rate.

In the 1st quarter, the unemployment rate of Estonians was 4.1% and the unemployment rate of non-Estonians was 5.9%. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the unemployment rate of both groups decreased. Among Estonian men, the unemployment rate decreased by 3 percentage points, and among women, the rate did not change considerably compared to the previous year. Among non-Estonian men, the unemployment rate decreased by 2.7 percentage points and among women by 2.6 percentage points.

Compared to the 1st quarter of the previous year, the number of inactive persons in the labour market increased by 7,900 and amounted to 286,800 in the 1st quarter. The main reasons for inactivity were retirement (87,800), studies (73,800) and illness or disability (62,900). Inactivity mostly increased at the expense of those who were inactive due to studies.

Statistics Estonia has been conducting the Labour Force Survey since 1995, and every quarter, 5,000 persons participate in the survey. The Labour Force Survey is carried out by statistical organisations in all the European Union Member States on the basis of a harmonised methodology. In Estonia, 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.

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.

See the distribution of 15–74-year-olds by employment status in 2018.

For further information:

Eveli Voolens
Analyst
Population and Social Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9334

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database (employed persons, inactive persons, employees, unemployed persons, general data on the labour market).