Deputy Secretary General: Labour market deteriorating

Unemployment Insurance Office (Töötukassa) branch in Pärnu.
Unemployment Insurance Office (Töötukassa) branch in Pärnu. Source: ERR

A total of 2,059 newly unemployed persons registered with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) last week. According to Deputy Secretary General on Labour and Employment Policy Sten Andreas Erlich, the labour market is deteriorating.

40,125 people were registered unemployed in Estonia as of Sunday. The number of newly-registered unemployed last week was lower than the previous week, but up compared to the annual average, Erlich said on Wednesday.

More and more companies are announcing redudancies but the applications are yet to be reviewed.

The labour market is rapidly changing for the worse," Erlich said. "Two political changes are under discussion. First, whether people could do low-income odd jobs during unemployment and second, whether the government and the unemployment fund council could extend the rescue measures for reimbursing salaries over more than a two-month period, if necessary," he added.

According to Unemployment Insurance Fund director Meelis Paavel, the fund is currently preparing for reimbursements. "Right now I can confirm that everything has more or less gone according to the plan in this very short time we were given and we are soon ready to accept applications," Paavel said.

30 people are helping to prepare the process and according to Paavel they have enough resources to finish it on time. The unemployment fund has received a large number of questions regarding the situation.

"As these measures were brought into being as quickly as possible, we have to accept that we cannot answer all questions now. Some will have to be answered when we are ready to accept applications. We ask employers to make preparations," Paavel added.

Editor: Anders Nõmm

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