Number of unemployed down by 9,200 from last year

Lidi opens in Tallinn.
Lidi opens in Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

In the first quarter of this year, there were 39,600 unemployed in Estonia, which is 9,200 fewer than a year ago, but compared to the last quarter of the previous year, the number of unemployed has increased by 3,300.

According to Statistics Estonia, the labor force participation rate, in the first quarter of 2022, was 73.1 percent, the employment rate was 69 percent and the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. There were 21,600 unemployed men and 18,000 women. More than half of them (55.6 percent) have been unemployed for fewer than six months. "The number of people who had been out of work for more than a year was 11,100, down a few thousand from a year ago," said Katriin Põlluäär, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia.

The total number of employed in the same period was 675,300, or 24,800 more than last year. Of the employed, 341,800 were men and 333,500 were women. "The number of employed has increased for both men and women in the public and private sectors, and it is the highest recorded in recent years," added Põlluäär.

86 percent of employees worked full-time. The rest worked part-time and two-thirds of them were women. The number of underemployed, i.e., part-time workers who want to work more and are ready to take on additional work within two weeks, was 7,000.

Number of employed persons by quarter, 2019–2022 Source: Statistics Estonia

Due to the increase in the number of employed, the participation rate in the labor force also increased, which shows the share of the labor force, i.e., the total number of employed and unemployed. "In the first quarter of 2022, it was 73.1 percent – the highest labor force participation rate in a long time," said Põlluäär.

There were 263,500 inactive people in the first quarter of the year - a decrease compared to the last quarter of the previous year the same period a year earlier. The main reasons for inactivity were retirement, studies, illness or disability.

The unemployment rate shows how much of the economically active population, i.e., the labor force, is unemployed. The employment rate is the share of the employed aged 15–74. The labor force participation rate is the share of the labor force among those aged 15–74.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

Source: Statistics Estonia

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