The number of unemployed persons, which rose to record high 137,000 persons in the 1st quarter of the current year, decreased by 9,000 persons in the 2nd quarter and by 22,000 persons in the 3rd quarter. The unemployment rate fell from 18.6% in the 2nd quarter to 15.5% in the 3rd quarter. Compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year, when the unemployed persons numbered 102,000 and the unemployment rate was 14.6%, unemployment was still bigger in the 3rd quarter of the current year.
If two years ago, unemployment started to increase especially rapidly among men, then during the last half-year, unemployment has declined also due to the decreasing unemployment among men. The unemployment among women has slightly increased at the same time. The unemployment rate of men was 16.1% and the unemployment rate of women 14.9% in the 3rd quarter.
By age groups, too, remarkable changes have taken place on the labour market during the last two quarters. The unemployment has decreased rapidly among the young and middle-aged people, but the unemployment rate of elderly people, which has been the lowest so far, grew and was even higher than that of middle-aged people in the 3rd quarter. The unemployment rate of persons aged 25–49 decreased to 12.8%, the unemployment rate of persons aged 50–74 increased to 16.4% at the same time. Even though the majority of people aged 15–24 are economically inactive (mainly due to studies), unemployment has always been a bigger problem among the youth than among older people. In the 3rd quarter of the current year, two thirds (116,000) of persons aged 15–24 were economically inactive. Economically active people (labour force) numbered 72,000 among persons aged 15–24, of them 52,000 were employed and 20,000 were unemployed. In the 3rd quarter, the situation of young people in the labour market improved. The youth unemployment rate or the share of unemployed persons aged 15–24 among the labour force of the same age, which had increased to 40.6% in the 1st quarter of the current year, decreased to 39% in the 2nd quarter and further on to 28% in the 3rd quarter. The share of the unemployed among all persons aged 15–24 was 11% in the 3rd quarter.
The problem of long-term unemployment and giving up of job seeking, which has continuously aggravated during the last year, did not ease much in the 3rd quarter. Unemployment decreased mainly due to the decreasing number of persons who had been unemployed less than a year, the number of long-term unemployed decreased only by a couple of thousands and the number of discouraged persons remained the same. In the 3rd quarter, 56,000 unemployed persons had been looking for a job for one year or more (long-term unemployed), of them 21,000 persons had been looking for a job for two years or more (very long-term unemployed). The share of the long-term unemployed among the unemployed increased to 53%, the share of very long-term unemployed persons to 20%. The number of discouraged persons or persons who had stopped seeking for a job was the same in the 3rd quarter as it was in the 2nd quarter — 9,000.
The number of unemployed persons according to the data of Labour Force Survey of Statistics Estonia and the number of registered unemployed persons according to the data of Unemployment Insurance Fund have been decreasing more or less at the same rate. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 23% (from 137,000 to 106,000 persons) in the 3rd quarter compared to the 1st quarter. The number of persons registered in the Unemployment Insurance Fund decreased by 22% (from 93,000 to 73,000 persons) during the same period.
The unemployed and registered unemployed, January 2008 – September 2010
In the 3rd quarter of this year, the estimated number of employed persons was 578,000, which is by 19,000 (3.5%) bigger than in the previous quarter. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the number of employed persons was by 20,000 (3.3%) smaller in the 3rd quarter of the current year. Compared to the previous quarter, the growth in employment was above all influenced by the increased number of persons employed in the economic activities where, during the last two years, the number of employed persons had decreased the most — in construction and manufacturing. The number of persons employed in construction increased by 14,000 and the number of persons employed in manufacturing by 12,000. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the number of employed persons was nevertheless slightly smaller also in these activities. But compared to the 3rd quarter of 2008, the starting period of economic crisis, this figure was remarkably smaller — by 27,000 (33%) in construction and by 20,000 (15%) in manufacturing.
The unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force (sum of employed and unemployed persons). The estimates are based on the data of the Labour Force Survey. Statistics Estonia has been conducting the Labour Force Survey since 1995 and every quarter 5,000 persons participate in it. The Labour Force Survey is carried out by statistical organisations in all European Union Member States on the basis of harmonised methodology.
Source: Statistics Estonia