Statistics Estonia: Labor market has cooled since end of April ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Ülemiste Keskus shopping mall in Tallinn, on Monday morning, following the lifting of restrictions which had kept most businesses closed since late March.
Ülemiste Keskus shopping mall in Tallinn, on Monday morning, following the lifting of restrictions which had kept most businesses closed since late March. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

A certain cooling could be observed on the Estonian labor market at the end of April and at the beginning of May, with fewer employment relationships terminated and fewer new employment relationships entered into than in previous weeks, Statistics Estonia said on Thursday.

The first one-and-a-half months of the coronavirus crisis has brought with it a rise in the number of redundancies, which has been especially extensive in the field of accommodation and catering, data scientist Kadri Rootalu wrote in the statistics blog of Statistics Estonia.

Where in the first half of March, 619 employment relationships were ended by means of redundancy, in the period from March 16-31 terminations through redundancy numbered over 2,500.

Rootalu pointed out since employers must inform employees about layoffs from 15 to 90 days prior to the layoff depending on the length of the employee's work record with the employer, the layoffs of not all the employees who had received a redundancy notice had been registered with the register of employment by the end of April and the number of people whose layoff is pending is apparently bigger than appears from statistics.

She pointed out that along with the increase in the number of redundancies an increase took place also in the ratio of redundancies to the total number of terminated employment relationships.

Where in January and February employment relationships terminated by means of redundancy accounted for only about 5 percent of the total number of employment relationships terminated, the ratio was 12 percent at the end of March and around one-fifth at the beginning of April.

Due to the emergency situation, the ratios of employment relationships terminated at the request of the employee or by mutual agreement have decreased most.  

To find out whether specific sectors of the economy have been affected by redundancies more than others, Statistics Estonia compared the total numbers of employment relationships terminated by means of redundancy in different fields of activity during a 2.5-month period before the emergency situation, from the beginning of January to March 15, and during a 1.5-month period after the start of the emergency situation, from March 16 to April 30.

It appears from the analysis that the fields of activity with the highest numbers of employees, such as processing industry and retail and wholesale, accounted for the biggest shares of employees made redundant both before and after the outbreak of the crisis. The numbers of redundancies have multiplied in almost all major areas of activity.

"In processing industry the numbers of redundancies have almost doubled, and tripled in the field of retail and wholesale, since the emergency situation was declared. An almost tenfold increase can be observed in the field of activity of accommodation and catering, which doesn't rank among the biggest fields of activity for the number of employees but has suffered the most under the conditions of the emergency situation," Rootalu said.

Of the major areas of activity untouched by redundancies to date, Rootalu highlighted education, which ranks among the top three areas of activity for worker numbers, and finance and insurance, where the number of redundancies has not increased compared with the first months of the year.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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