According to the data of the Labour Force Survey, the estimated number of unemployed persons, which had been 53,000 in the 3rd quarter of 2013, increased by 6,000 persons in the 4th quarter. The unemployment rate was higher than in the 3rd quarter, but decreased slightly compared to the 4th quarter of 2012 (when the unemployment rate was 7.8% and 9.1%, respectively). The increase of unemployment in the last quarter of the year is an anticipated seasonal phenomenon which usually has a greater impact on the employment of men.
Although unemployment increased slightly at the end of 2013, the annual average unemployment rate (8.6%) was still 1.4 percentage points lower than in 2012 (10.0%). The number of unemployed persons (59,000) decreased by 10,000 compared to the previous year. At the same time, the decline of unemployment has been gradually slowing down since 2011.
In 2013, the short-term unemployed (i.e. people who had been looking for a job for under a year) became predominant among the unemployed. They numbered 33,000 as an annual average, increasing by 2,000 compared to 2012. There was a notable decrease (by 11,000) in the number of the long-term unemployed (i.e. people who had been looking for a job for one year or longer), they numbered 26,000 in 2013. The long-term unemployment rate was 3.8%. Long-term unemployment was higher among men, the elderly and the non-national population. The share of the very long-term unemployed (unemployed for two years or more) among the unemployed decreased from a third to a quarter, compared to 2012.
Although unemployment is higher among men than among women, it decreased more among men than among women during the previous year. The unemployment rate of men was 9.1% and that of women 8.2% in 2013.
In 2013, the youth unemployment rate (i.e. the share of unemployed persons aged 15–24 among the labour force of the same age) was 18.7% (20.9% in the previous year) or 2.5 times higher compared to the rest of the working-age population. The young unemployed numbered 11,000 in total. As the unemployment rate is calculated as a share of those young people who are economically active, but most members of this age group are still studying, the share of the unemployed among all young people aged 15–24 was 7.3%.
In the 4th quarter of 2013, the employment rate of the population aged 15–74 was 61.6%. It decreased by 1.1 percentage points compared to the 3rd quarter, but increased by 0.7 percentage points compared the 4th quarter of 2012 (when the employment rate was 62.7% and 60.9%, respectively). In 2013, the annual average employment rate was 62.1% (which is 1.3 percentage points higher than in 2012) and the estimated number of employed persons totalled 621,000. The annual average number of employed persons increased by 6,000 compared to 2012. The yearly growth in employment was most of all influenced by an increase in the number of persons employed in accommodation and food services, professional, scientific and technical activities, wholesale and retail trade, and arts, entertainment and recreation.
Employment grew in 2013 due to a decrease in the number of both the unemployed and the economically inactive persons. The economically inactive persons (students, retired persons, homemakers, discouraged persons, etc.) aged 15–74 numbered 320,000 in 2013, which is 7,000 persons less than in the previous year. Among inactive persons, the number of pension-aged and persons inactive due to studies decreased the most, associated to the decreasing generations of pupils and students, the gradual rise of official retirement age and lengthening working life. Discouraged persons, i.e. persons who have stopped seeking a job numbered 6,000 in 2013, which is 1,000 less than in the previous year.
The current data have been published based on the revised population figures of Statistics Estonia. In connection with the revision of population series for 2000-2013, based on the 2000 and 2011 censuses and various registers, the Labour Force Survey time series for 2000–2013 was recalculated.
Unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force (the sum of employed and unemployed persons). Long-term unemployment rate is the share of people who have been unemployed for a year or longer among the total labour force. Employment rate is the share of the employed in the working-age population (aged 15–74). 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 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.
Persons aged 15–74 by labour status, 1st quarter 2000 – 4th quarter 2013
Source: Statistics Estonia