Ethnic Joblessness Gap Increases ({{commentsTotal}})

A citizenship granting ceremony
A citizenship granting ceremony Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A progress report on the statistical benchmarks of Estonia's integration plan finds that the unemployment rate gap between ethnic Estonians and non-Estonians widened last year.

Produced by the Ministry of Culture, the report says the unemployment rate in 2012 was 8.8 percent among Estonians and 14.9 percent among all other residents, mostly ethnic Russians.

The rate was therefore 59 percent higher among the “other” category. That difference has increased from 52.4 percent since 2011. There is also a serious regional discrepancy in part connected ethnicity, as Ida-Viru County, for example, has a high population of ethnic Russians. The report concluded that the state is not likely to achieve its goal of shrinking the gap to 30 percent.

In another socio-economic indication, the annual income per household member was 7,566 euros among ethnic Estonians in 2011, compared with 6,083 euros among non-ethnic Estonians. That gap has decreased, but next year's 10 percent target is still not considered reachable, the report said.

On a more equal note, the long-term unemployment (two years or more) gap between ethnicities decreased to 37 percent - 2.6 percent for ethnic and 4.1 percent for non-ethnic Estonians. In that regard, the government's 20 percent target is attainable.