Working part-time continues to be popular

news release no 18

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, the labour force participation rate was 71.6%, the employment rate was 68.4% and the unemployment rate was 4.4%. The annual average number of persons active in the labour market was 702,600 and persons employed numbered 671,300.

Last year, there were 586,200 persons working full-time and 85,100 persons working part-time. The number of part-time workers increased slightly year-on-year and continues to remain high. Most of the persons with part-time jobs were women. Their reasons for working part-time were personal and family-related as well as studies. Men worked part-time mainly for the reason that they did not want to work full-time.

In 2019, the number of underemployed persons was 6,100, which is less than in the previous year. A person is underemployed if he or she works part-time but would like to work more and is available for additional work within two weeks.

The labour force participation rate among 15–64-year-olds was 78.6%. This indicator is also included in the National Reform Programme “Estonia 2020”, with the target to raise the labour force participation rate in this age group to 75%. This target is also displayed as a positive green leaf on the Tree of Truth (currently in Estonian). This web application of Statistics Estonia is a gauge of important national indicators, offering a picture of how the country is doing.

In 2019, compared to 2018, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 6,400, totalling 31,300. There was also a decrease in the number of long-term unemployed, and it stood at 6,200. Long-term unemployed are persons who have been looking for work for 12 months or longer. The long-term unemployed are also at the greatest risk of poverty among unemployed persons, as staying out of the labour market can have an impact on the person’s work skills and habits.

The number of inactive persons in the labour market was 278,400. The main reasons for being inactive were retirement, studies and illness or disability. There were 28,500 persons available to work but not seeking work by reason of inactivity, most of them among retirement-aged persons and those inactive due to studies. These are persons who are not actively looking for work but are available for work immediately if work was offered.

In the 4th quarter of 2019, the employment rate was 69.2%, the labour force participation rate was 72.1% and the unemployment rate was 4.1%.

See the breakdown of the population aged 15–74 by labour status in the 4th quarter and in 2019.

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 working-age 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 has been conducted by Statistics Estonia since 1995. Every quarter, 5,000 persons participate in the survey. 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.

For further information:

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

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