Job portals confirm that the number of wanted ads has dropped by 20-30 percent compared to a year ago and currently matches the 2019 level.
By late September, Estonia had 49,286 registered unemployed and a registered unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. Statistics Estonia reports that unemployment is rising.
Wanted ad portals confirm that the number of vacant positions has decreased on year and competition for landing a job has increased.
Statistics Estonia analyst Tea Vassiljeva said that one reason is Estonia's cooling economy where companies are creating fewer jobs. Secondly, the population has grown following the arrival of Ukrainian refugees. This has caused both the number of unemployed and employed persons to grow.
"We clearly have more people on the labor market. We had an extra 25,000 employed persons in the second quarter of this year compared to the same quarter in 2022. Unemployment is up by 8,000 persons. There is growth in both directions," she said.
While the number of employed persons growing has to do with a larger population, unemployment heading up is a sign of deepening recession.
Henry Auväärt, head of marketing for wanted ads portal CV Keskus, said that the number of job offers is down 20-30 percent. But it needs to be kept in mind that while recruiting virtually stopped during the Covid crisis in 2020-2021, this was followed by 12-18 months of fervent hiring to make up the difference.
"We could say that the labor market is normalizing when it comes to available jobs. If we compare the situation to pre-crisis times, we realize that the situation today is similar to 2019," Auväärt said.
Karla Oder, head of CV.ee, said that companies have shelved growth plans and are recruiting less actively. This means that competition to land a job is becoming fiercer.
"Application activity is up some 30 percent, meaning that there are more job seekers and competition on the labor market," Oder remarked.
The pressure on salaries has also slackened somewhat, he added.
"Because workers are easier to find, there is less headhunting. On the other hand, falling salary pressure might also hurt employers when employees, who realize they might not be able to get a raise as easily, start looking around for another job."
Editor: Marcus Turovski