Shale oil producer to lay off nearly 500 workers

Citing a continuous significant decline in global oil prices, the northeast Estonia based shale oil producer Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) announced on Jan.15 2016 it will make approximately 500 employees redundant.

The management board of VKG decided to conserve the oil plants using Kiviter technology. Production of shale oil will continue at three oil shale processing plants using Petroter technology for which oil shale is mined at VKG’s own Ojamaa mine, VKG said.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

Estonia’s registered unemployment was 4.4 percent in 2015

The rate of registered unemployment in Estonia dropped from 4.7 percent in 2014 to 4.4 percent in 2015, the Unemployment Insurance Fund said on Monday.

The number of people registered as jobless increased by 0.2 percentage points in December and at the end of the month their number was 29,774, making up 4.7 percent of the working-age population. Although the number of registered unemployed was bigger by almost 8 percent at the end of 2015 than at the end of 2014, the average number of unemployed in the course of the year was smaller in 2015 than in 2014.

The average number of people registered as unemployed in 2015 was 27,989, smaller by approximately 1,500 than in 2014. The rate of registered unemployment dropped from 4.7 percent in 2014 to 4.4 percent in 2015. The reduction in the number of registered unemployed was somewhat slower in 2015 than in the year before.

The CEO of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Meelis Paavel, said a reversal of the trend took place in registered unemployment in 2015.

“Starting from August the number of registered unemployed started to grow a bit faster than in the preceding year and the number of unemployed was bigger than in the respective period last year. The growth in registered unemployment rather was marginal, however, and cannot be compared with the increase in unemployment in the crisis years 2008–2009.”

The rate of registered unemployment was highest as usual in East-Viru County at 10.1 percent and Valga County at 8.6 percent, and lowest in the Harju and Tartu counties at respectively 3.3 percent and 3.6 percent. Manual workers made and skilled workers and artificers both accounted for 19 percent of the registered jobless who had previously worked. Service and sales personnel accounted for 17 percent.

Recipients of the unemployment insurance benefit numbered 10,035 in December, making up 31 percent of the registered jobless. The average benefit per calendar month was 396 euros and the sum total disbursed was roughly 3.3 million euros. The basic unemployment allowance of 124 euros a month was paid to 7,807 persons, 24 percent of the total number of registered jobless.

The redundancy benefit was paid to 673 people in December and the average size of the benefit awarded in that month was 2,304 euros. The sum total paid out in redundancy benefits during the month was more than 1.4 million euros.

The benefit in case of insolvency of the employer was awarded to 114 persons. The average size of the benefit was 2,575 euros and overall more than 397,000 euros was disbursed under that item.

During 2015, 11.7 million euros was disbursed as redundancy benefit and 2.9 million euros as benefit in case of insolvency of the employer.

Source: ERR via Estonian Review

Lower salary limit for teachers to rise to EUR 958

The Estonian government is to handle a draft regulation at its sitting on Thursday that would raise the lower salary limit for full-time teachers of basic and upper secondary schools to 958 euros.

The change would be effective from January 1.

The new lower salary limit is 6.4 percent higher than the lower salary limit of 900 euros valid in 2015.

The state budget for this year sets aside 182 million euros to finance the higher base salary for teachers. Teacher jobs in Estonia’s basic and upper secondary schools numbered 11,831 as of November 2015.

Source: ERR via Estonian Review

Estonia chooses artists to get on state payroll for next 3 years

Estonia is to pay a 1001-euro monthly salary in 2016-2018 to artists Kaido Ole, Marge Monko, Kris Lemsalu, Mark Raidpere and Anu Vahtra.

When assessing an application, the committee appointed by the Estonian Artists’ Association mainly took into consideration a candidate’s creation plan for the next three years, education or experience, and creation in the past years, among other things.

A total of 73 applications were submitted to the association by the deadline.

The salary will be provided by the Estonian Artists’ Association in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

Estonia’s minimum pay in 2016 is 430 eur

The government on Thursday endorsed 2.54 euros per hour and 430 euros per month for full-time employees as the minimum wage for 2016 and respectively 2.78 euros and 470 euros for 2017.

The minimum rates of pay for 2016 and 2017 were agreed between the Estonian Employers Confederation and the Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL) on Oct. 28.

The signing of the agreement was preceded by long negotiations and the agreement was reached through mediation by acting public conciliator Henn Parn.

According to the Tax and Customs Board there were roughly 15,800 full-time employees in Estonia getting the national minimum wage in the second quarter of 2015.

The Ministry of Finance has estimated the number of people directly influenced by the increase in minimum wage to be approximately 50,000. The bigger number mainly represents people who are paid more than the currently valid minimum wage but less than the new minimum rate of pay.

Raising the minimum pay from 390 euros to 430 euros a month will bring 8.6 million euros of extra money into the state budget. Revenue of the state will grow by 15.2 million euros and expenditures of the state by 5.6 million euros. In addition one million euros will be deducted from receipts of social tax and transferred to pension funds.

Compared with the 2016 state budget adopted by the parliament, which reckons with a rise in minim pay equal to the rise in average pay, the increase in the minimum wage to 430 euros a month will bring 2.7 million euros more money into state coffers.

The rise from 390 euros to 470 euros a month will bring 15.7 million euros of extra money into the state budget. Revenue of the state will grow by 42.7 million euros and expenditures of the state by 23.3 million euros. In addition 3.7 million euros will be deducted from receipts of social tax for transfer to pension funds.

Source: Baltic News Service

Estonia sees biggest employment growth in EU in Q3

Among EU member states for which data are available, Estonia registered the biggest increase in employment in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the previous three-month period, Eurostat said on Tuesday.

Next after Estonia, which posted employment growth of 2.1 percent, came Hungary with 0.8 percent, and Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, all with 0.6 percent. Decreases were recorded in Croatia, 0.6 percent, Portugal, 0.5 percent, and Malta, 0.3 percent.

The number of persons employed increased by 0.3 percent in the euro area and by 0.4 percent in the EU28 in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment increased by 1.1 percent in both the euro area and the EU28 in the third quarter of 2015.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

8,900 job vacancies in 3Q

According to Statistics Estonia, there were almost 8,900 job vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organisations of Estonia in the 3rd quarter of 2015. The number of job vacancies increased by 4.8% compared to the previous quarter and by 3.3% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2014.

The rate of job vacancies, i.e. the share of job vacancies in the total number of jobs, was 1.6% in the 3rd quarter of 2015, remaining the same as in the 3rd quarter of 2014. The rate of job vacancies was the highest in other service activities (3.3%), which include laundries, dry cleaning, beauty services, the repair of computers and personal goods etc. However, in the case of this economic activity, the share of vacant and occupied posts in the total number of posts is 1.0%. The rate of job vacancies was the lowest in three economic activities – agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining and quarrying, and real estate activities (all 0.3%).

The highest share of both vacant and occupied posts in the total number of posts was recorded in manufacturing (19%), wholesale and retail trade (16%), and education (10%).

The rise in the number of job vacancies was the biggest in information and communication, where there were two times more vacancies compared to the 3rd quarter of 2014.

57% of the vacant and occupied posts were in Harju county (including Tallinn), followed by Tartu county (11%) and Ida-Viru county (8%). The rate of job vacancies was the highest in Harju county (including Tallinn) (2.0%) and the lowest in Põlva county (0.7%).

69% of the job vacancies were in the private sector and 31% were in the public sector. The rate of job vacancies was 1.9% in the public sector and 1.5% in the private sector. The public sector includes companies owned by the state or local governments.Diagram: Rate of job vacancies, 1st quarter 2006 – 3rd quarter 2015

The movement of labour is characterised by labour turnover (the total of engaged employees and those who have left), which amounted to 77,000 employees in the 2nd quarter of 2015, denoting a decrease of 0.2% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014, but a 26.6% increase compared to the previous quarter. In the 2nd quarter of 2015, the largest increase in labour turnover compared to the 2nd quarter of 2014 occurred in arts, entertainment and recreation (50%), in accommodation and food service activities (47%) and in information and communication (44%).

The data are based on the job vacancies and labour turnover survey, conducted by Statistics Estonia since 2005. In 2015, the sample includes 12,376 enterprises, institutions and organisations; the data of randomly selected units are imputed to the total population separately in each stratum.

The number of job vacancies is the total number of job vacancies on the 15th day of the second month of the quarter. A job vacancy is a paid post that is newly created, unoccupied or becomes vacant when an employee leaves, and for which the employer is actively trying to find a suitable candidate from outside the enterprise, institution or organisation concerned.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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