In the second quarter, 39,540 persons were hired and 50,184 persons left work, data from Statistics Estonia shows. Every fourth person left on the employer's initiative.
In the second quarter of 2020 - April, May and June - there were 8,088 vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organisations of Estonia. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, the number decreased by 28 percent.
The total number of vacant and occupied posts was 608,175. The economic activities of manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and education held the largest shares in the total number of posts.
The number of vacancies was highest in education (1,405), public administration and defence (1,084), and human health and social work activities (1,035).
Analyst at Statistics Estonia Argo Tarkiainen said the rate of job vacancies, which is the share of job vacancies in the total number of posts, was 1.3 percent.
"Of all job vacancies, 47% percent were in the public sector. The rate of job vacancies was highest in public administration and defence (2.7 percent) and lowest in mining and quarrying (0.5 percent)," Tarkiainen said.
Most of the vacant posts were in Harju county (74 percent), including Tallinn (64 percent), followed by Tartu County (7.6 percent) and Ida-Viru County (5.3 percent).
The rate of job vacancies was highest in Harju county (1.6 percent), followed by Ida-Viru and Võru counties (1.2 percent), and lowest in Hiiu and Saare counties (0.3 percent).
Labour turnover, which is the total number of employed and left employees, which characterises the movement of labour, decreased by 23 percent compared to the second quarter of 2019.
"The number of employees hired as well as the number of employees who left their job were highest in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and construction. In the second quarter, 12,493 persons left their job on the employer's initiative, which is a 131 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2019," added Tarkiainen.
The emergency situation to stop the spread of coronavirus was in place during half of quarter two, and ended in the middle of May. During this time many people in the services industry and several other sectors could not work and were being paid through the government's wage support scheme. Many people were laid off and unemployment rose.
Editor: Helen Wright