Unemployment Decreases, Partially Due to Shrinking Labor Force ({{commentsTotal}})

Unemployment in Estonia was 6.9 percent in the second quarter of 2014, which shows a slight increase in overall employment compared to the first quarter but a decrease compared to the same quarter last year, a pattern that Statistics Estonia said is an indication of the consequences of a declining labor force.

According to the quarterly Labor Force Survey released today, the unemployment rate was lower than both in the first quarter of this year and the second quarter of 2013, when the unemployment rate was 8.5 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively. The estimated number of unemployed persons was 47,000 in the second quarter, which is 10,000 less than in the previous quarter and 8,000 less than in the second quarter of 2013.

Unemployment decreased mainly due to the declining number of the short-term unemployed (people who had been looking for a job for less than a year), the report said. Their number was down by 8,000.

The number of the short-term and long-term unemployed was equal in the second quarter, both numbering around 23,000.

The number of the long-term unemployed - people who had been looking for a job for one year or longer - has been stable for the last four quarters. The rate was 3.4 percent in the second quarter.

Compared to the first quarter, the unemployment among men declined more and the employment of men increased more than that of women, said the report; this was expected as male employment is more influenced by seasonal factors. The unemployment rate of men was 7.5 percent and that of women 6.4 percent in the second quarter.

The estimated number of employed persons was 624,000, which was 19,000 more than in the previous quarter, but 8,000 less than in the same quarter of the previous year.

While the quarterly increase was fostered by seasonal jobs, the yearly decline was influenced by a shrinking working-age population (caused by negative net migration) and the increasing number of economically inactive persons, such as pensioners.

Statistics Estonia has been conducting the Labor Force Survey since 1995 every quarter, using a sample size of 5,000.