The number of registered unemployed in Estonia in January grew by almost 9 percent compared to December but declined 3 percent year over year.
Registered unemployment increased in January due to both seasonal factors and as a result of the work ability reform, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF) said. At the end of January, 30,890 people or 4.8 percent of the working-age population were registered as out of work; some 6,192 were with limited capacity for work.
The number of registered unemployed increased in January by nearly 9 percent compared to December 2016 but had decreased by nearly 3 percent compared to January 2016.
The rate of registered unemployment was once again highest in Ida-Viru County at 10.9 percent, followed by Valga County at 8.6 percent. The lowest rates of joblessness were registered in Harju and Tartu Counties at 3.5 and 3.6 percent, respectively. Unskilled workers made up the biggest portion of the registered jobless who had previously worked, accounting for 22 percent of such workers. Next came skilled workers and craftsmen at 19 percent and service and sales personnel at 17 percent.
The number of new job offers, 4,531, was 45 percent bigger than in December and 33 percent bigger than in January 2016. During last month, 3,679 people, including 495 persons with limited capacity for work, found employment or started a business with the help of the EUIF.
Recipients of the unemployment insurance benefit numbered 10,507 in January, a total of 30 percent of the registered unemployed. The average benefit per calendar month was €433 and the total amount disbursed in benefits exceeded €4 million. The basic unemployment allowance of €151 per month was paid to 7,693 persons, 22 percent of the total number of registered jobless.
The benefit for laid-off employees was paid to 818 people, with the average size of the benefit awarded in January coming in at €1,720. The sum total paid out in layoff benefits was more than €1.4 million. The benefit in case of insolvency of the employer was awarded to 44, with the average size of this benefit coming in at €2,599. More than €168,000 in such benefits were disbursed last month.
Editor: Aili Vahtla