At least 1,500 jobs have already been lost in Ida-Viru County due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy and the Unemployment Insurance Fund said people must be prepared to accept job offers they may not have previously have considered.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund has said the number of unemployed people in Estonia's most eastern country has grown particularly fast compared to the rest of the country after the emergency situation was declared on March 12.
Anneki Teelahk, head of the Ida-Virumaa Unemployment Insurance Fund, said employees have been made redundant primarily by small companies in the service sector, which even before the crisis barely made ends meet and paid their employees a minimum wage. Other companies are trying to resist making redundancies.
The crisis has significantly reduced job opportunities in the county and there are currently less than 300, but labor is still needed in industry, agriculture, education and health care.
"In fact, such very, very necessary jobs have risen to glory. Producing something, helping people, teaching - what is really very necessary in everyday life," said Teelahk.
Among those who hope to survive the crisis with wage compensation are construction, transport and service companies and spas.
Anneki Teelahk said the labor market is changing rapidly and employees must take this into account. She said many people in the region have the mentality that they should stay within their professional area but this will have to change. She said job seekers may have to accept seasonal work and put their ability to "bring bread to the table" first.
Teelahk said there is a large share of skilled workers who could probably find jobs in agriculture.
Editor: Helen Wright