More than 2,000 people registered as unemployed last week ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

An Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) office on Vaksali Street in Tartu.
An Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) office on Vaksali Street in Tartu. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

Last week, a total of 2,052 people registered as unemployed, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund said on Monday. Unemployment has increased by approximately 35 percent since the start of the emergency situation.

The number of registered unemployed grew faster last week than at the beginning of April, although the increase was smaller than during the first few weeks of the emergency situation in mid-March.  

As of Sunday, the unemployment fund had registered 49,741 people as unemployed and the registered unemployment rate is 7.7 percent.

Since the start of the emergency situation, 20,030 new unemployed people have been registered, and deregistration has occurred 7,003 times. In total, the number of registered unemployed has increased by 13,027 people, or about 35 percent, since the beginning of the emergency.

Margit Paulus, Head of the Analysis Department of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, said of the newly unemployed who were registered last week, 39 percent were laid off from their last job.

As of Sunday, the registered unemployment rate was the highest in Ida-Viru County at 13.1 percent and the lowest in Hiiu County at 4.7 percent.

Last week 15 collective redundancy notices were submitted, which, according to the initial information provided, plan to lay off 554 employees. The majority came from the tourism sector, largely from hotels.

Paulus said it is difficult to know whether the biggest wave of redundancies has passed or not. "We see that companies are continuing to submit redundancy notices and people are also being registered [as unemployed], especially those who have been laid off from their previous job," she said.

In addition to hotels and catering establishments, collective redundancy notices have also been submitted in the information and communication sector. Last week, 63 people were fired by the identification company Veriff and redundancies were also made at Pipedrive.

The government's scheme to part-fund employees' wages has also been very popular, Paulus said. So far money has been paid to 104,931 employees of 12,978 institutions. 

The majority - 85,622 - people have received benefits for one month and 19,309 people have received benefits for two months, which is currently the maximum period an employer can claim for. Employers must claim each month separately so it is high likely employers will claim for both months wage subsidy. 

Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) said on Sunday a third of the money allocated to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for the payment of wage compensation has been used up. He said period of payment of crisis aid could be extended until July at most.

The total cost of the scheme is €114.2 million.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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