In 2007 the unemployment rate was 4.7%

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2007 the unemployment rate* was 4.7%. Employment increased moderately.

At the end of 2007 the decline in unemployment continued — in the 4th quarter the unemployment rate decreased to 4.1%. The annual average unemployment rate was 4.7% last year, which is smallest during the last 15 years.

Unemployment has decreased in all age groups, most among the youth. The unemployment rate of persons aged 15–24, which in 2004 was still over 20% dropped to 10% last year. The rapid decrease in the unemployment rate of non-Estonians also continued — from 9.7% in 2006 to 6.9% in 2007. Compared to Estonians (3.6%) it was still about two times bigger. In the region of highest unemployment, Northeastern Estonia, unemployment rate decreased from 12.1% to 9%, in the region of smallest unemployment, Northern Estonia — from 4.3% to 3.3%.

Unemployment rate, 1992–2007

In 2007, 655,000 persons aged 15–74 were employed, 32,000 were unemployed and 359,000 were economically inactive (students, retired persons, homemakers, discouraged persons**, etc.). Compared to 2006, the number of employed persons grew by 9,000. Employment increased due to the decline in unemployment and inactivity.

Employment has increased since 2001. The number of employed persons grew most in 2006. If in earlier years the employment growth was 1–2% in a year, then in 2006 the number of employed persons grew rapidly — by 6.4%. In 2007, the employment growth declined to the level of previous years — the number of employed persons grew by 1.4% compared to 2006. From the point of view of economic activities, the employment growth was most influenced by construction, where the number of employed persons grew by 18,000 persons in 2007 compared to 2006. Employment increased also in financial intermediation, real estate, renting and business activities as well as in other community, social and personal service activities.

In 2007, employment grew mainly in the first three quarters, at the end of the year the growth of employment slowed down. In the 4th quarter of 2007 compared to the same quarter of 2006, the number of employed persons increased only by 0.5%, compared to the 3rd quarter of 2007 the number of employed persons decreased.

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 Labour Force Survey is carried out by statistical organisations in all European Union Member States on the basis of harmonised methodology.

* Unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force. Labour force (economically active population) is the sum of employed and unemployed persons.
** Discouraged persons are those who have lost hope to find a job.

Source: Statistics Office

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