According to Statistics Estonia, the labor force participation rate in 2022 was 73.3 percent, the employment rate was 69.2 percent and the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. The number of employed individuals reached 677,400, the highest in recent years.
Last year, both the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate went down for the second year in a row. There were 40,200 unemployed individuals in 2022, which is 2,900 less than the year before. The unemployment rate dropped from 6.2 percent in 2021 to 5.6 percent in 2022.
Tea Vassiljeva, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the biggest decrease in the unemployment rate in 2022 was recorded in Tartu and Pärnu counties.
"Unemployment also declined in Ida-Viru county, but there was a rise in the unemployment rate in Harju county excluding Tallinn city, and in Lääne-Viru county. In Tallinn, both the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate remained at the same level as the year before," Vassiljeva said.
The number of employed people increased significantly by 2022.
"Their number was still in decline in 2021 but started to grow in 2022. The number of employed women rose more than the number of employed men," Vassiljeva added.
In 2021, Estonia had 650,500 employed people aged 15 to 74, with 329,500 men and 321,000 women. The number of employed people increased by 26,900 to 677,400 in 2022, with 341,700 men and 335,700 women. This is the highest figure in recent years.
The employment rate grew by 2.5 percentage points from 66.7 percent in 2021 to 69.2 percent in 2022, representing a similar annual gain.
Vassiljeva suggested that the increase can mostly be attributed to the change in the number of inactive persons. "In 2022, there were 260,800 inactive persons, which is 21,500 fewer than the year before. A considerable share of them have probably found employment since 2021, which is why the labor force participation rate has increased by 2.2 percentage points compared with 2021 – it was 73.3 percent last year."
The number of employed people working full-time and those working part-time increased in 2022. The number of people working part-time grew by 14,500 between 2021 and 2022, for a total of 102,000. The number of employed full-time workers increased by 12,400 between 2021 and 2022, reaching 575,200 in 2022.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the labor force participation rate was 73.5 percent, and the employment rate was 69.6 percent.
The unemployment rate, which had dropped to the lowest level of recent years, down to 5.2 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2021, was a little higher in the fourth quarter of 2022 at 5.4 percent.
The unemployment rate is the number of people who are looking for work but cannot find an employment. The employment rate is the number of people between the ages of 15 and 74 who have jobs. The labor force participation rate shows how many people aged 15–74 are in the labor force.
The estimates are based on the data of the Estonian Labor Force Survey conducted by Statistics Estonia since 1995. Every quarter, 5,000 persons participate in the survey. The survey is commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Editor: Kristina Kersa