The rate of registered unemployment in Estonia dropped from 4.7 percent in 2014 to 4.4 percent in 2015, the Unemployment Insurance Fund said on Monday.
The number of people registered as jobless increased by 0.2 percentage points in December and at the end of the month their number was 29,774, making up 4.7 percent of the working-age population. Although the number of registered unemployed was bigger by almost 8 percent at the end of 2015 than at the end of 2014, the average number of unemployed in the course of the year was smaller in 2015 than in 2014.
The average number of people registered as unemployed in 2015 was 27,989, smaller by approximately 1,500 than in 2014. The rate of registered unemployment dropped from 4.7 percent in 2014 to 4.4 percent in 2015. The reduction in the number of registered unemployed was somewhat slower in 2015 than in the year before.
The CEO of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Meelis Paavel, said a reversal of the trend took place in registered unemployment in 2015.
"Starting from August the number of registered unemployed started to grow a bit faster than in the preceding year and the number of unemployed was bigger than in the respective period last year. The growth in registered unemployment rather was marginal, however, and cannot be compared with the increase in unemployment in the crisis years 2008–2009."
The rate of registered unemployment was highest as usual in East-Viru County at 10.1 percent and Valga County at 8.6 percent, and lowest in the Harju and Tartu counties at respectively 3.3 percent and 3.6 percent. Manual workers made and skilled workers and artificers both accounted for 19 percent of the registered jobless who had previously worked. Service and sales personnel accounted for 17 percent.
Recipients of the unemployment insurance benefit numbered 10,035 in December, making up 31 percent of the registered jobless. The average benefit per calendar month was 396 euros and the sum total disbursed was roughly 3.3 million euros. The basic unemployment allowance of 124 euros a month was paid to 7,807 persons, 24 percent of the total number of registered jobless.
The redundancy benefit was paid to 673 people in December and the average size of the benefit awarded in that month was 2,304 euros. The sum total paid out in redundancy benefits during the month was more than 1.4 million euros.
The benefit in case of insolvency of the employer was awarded to 114 persons. The average size of the benefit was 2,575 euros and overall more than 397,000 euros was disbursed under that item.
During 2015, 11.7 million euros was disbursed as redundancy benefit and 2.9 million euros as benefit in case of insolvency of the employer.