Labor market dealt more strongly with crisis than rest of Europe

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Construction site. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Estonia's recession in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been so far smaller than most European Union states', according to the overview of the labor market provided by the Bank of Estonia.

The labor market reacted more strongly than other European states, though it is still too early to assess the effect of the restrictions enacted this spring.

The unemployment rate increased to 7.1 percent, from 5 percent, at the beginning of the crisis. Registered unemployment increased among younger people, and also among service and sales staff.

In some fields of activity of the service sector, the labor demand decreased in autumn as well, less secured employees have lost their jobs during the crisis.

Wage pressure has decreased due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis. Even though the average salary was restored after the emergency situation, it rose more slowly in both private and public sectors compared with the period before the crisis.

Bank of Estonia data on salary distribution shows that the lower and higher salary ranges grew more slowly.

In the field of accommodation and catering, salaries didn't increase to the level of the time before the crisis.

It is too early to look for the effects of the spring crisis on the labor market as yet. Compared to last year, several circumstances are different; for example, the insecurities related to the restrictions are smaller, because entrepreneurs have had the chance to adapt to the situation.

Employment has now fallen quite a bit, and in contrast to industries where there is a risk of further redundancies, there are also areas where the number of employees is likely to increase in the future.

For example, while employment in the construction sector fell last year, developers have now announced the recovering of construction projects, which will support employment growth.

The effect of the restrictions is again mitigated by the state salary compensation, which is, however, somewhat lower than last spring.

The unemployment rate increased to 7.1 percent from 5 percent at the beginning of the crisis. Registered unemployment increased among younger people, also among service and sales staff.

In some fields of activity of the service sector, the labor demand decreased in autumn as well, less secured employees have lost their jobs during the crisis.

Wage pressure has decreased due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis. Even though the average salary was restored after the emergency situation, it increased slower in both private and public sectors compared to the time before the crisis.

Data about the salary distribution show that the lower and higher salaries increased slower.

In the field of accommodation and catering, the salary didn't increase to the level of the time before the crisis.

It is too early to look for the effects of the spring crisis on the labor market. Compared to last year, several circumstances are different, for example, the insecurities related to the restrictions are smaller because the entrepreneurs have had the chance to adapt to the situation.

Employment has now fallen quite a bit, and in contrast to industries where there is a risk of further redundancies, there are also areas where the number of employees is likely to increase in the future.

For example, while employment in the construction sector fell last year, developers have now announced the recovering of construction projects, which will support employment growth.

The effect of the restrictions is again mitigated by the state salary compensation, which is, however, somewhat lower than last spring.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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