Q3 Unemployment Figures Offer Rare Positive Economic News ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Freshly released Q3 unemployment figures mark a contrast from the country's ever gloomier economic growth results, with unemployment down by 1.6 percent in 12 months, and youth and long-term joblessness seeing significant reductions.

Statistics Estonia clocked unemployment at 8.0 percent in the third quarter, only a slight improvement on the 8.1 percent Q2 figure, but far lower than during the same period of last year. The result means that 12,000 fewer people are out of work now compared with Q3 of 2012.

The number of long-term unemployed, those without a job for one year or longer, fell from 24,000 to 12,000 during the past 12 months.

The youth unemployment rate, i.e. people aged between 15 and 24 who are active in the labor market, fell from 19.5 percent a year ago to 14.5 percent in the third quarter of this year.

Statistics Estonia said gains in wholesale and retail trade are behind the drop in jobless numbers, with accommodation and food services, administrative and support service activities, and manufacturing also contributing.

Unemployment numbers have been highly volatile in recent years, with the number of unemployed in the second quarter of 2008, 24,000, escalating to nearly 140,000 in the first quarter of 2010. Currently, there are 56,000 people out of work.