Unemployment Falls to 8.1% ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The nation's unemployment rate has plummeted by more than two percentage points since the first quarter of the year, landing at 8.1 percent in Q2, new figures from Statistics Estonia show.

The result is the lowest rate seen since 2008, just before the recession began pushing unemployment skyward, eventually bringing it to a peak of nearly 20 percent in early 2010.

Estimates put the number of unemployed for the second quarter at 57,000, which is 14,000 fewer than the same quarter of 2012.

Statistics Estonia said that the biggest decline came in the number of long-term unemployed, i.e. those who have been looking for work for a year or longer. Their ranks dropped by 9,000 over the year and stood at 28,000 at the end of the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the share of employed people among the working-age population climbed to 63 percent compared with 60.8 percent the previous quarter and 60.9 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Apart from the decline in joblessness, the gains came from a decrease in the number of "economically inactive" people - students, pensioners and others who are not working or seeking work.