According to data provided by Statistics Estonia, in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, the unemployment rate in Estonia was 7.3 percent. Meanwhile, Estonia's labor force participation rate was 74.5 percent, and the employment rate was 69.1 percent.
Tea Vassiljeva, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that there were 54,800 unemployed persons in Estonia in the third quarter of this year, which is 14,200 more than a year earlier and 4,600 more than in Q2, 2023.
"The unemployment rate in the third quarter was 7.3 percent up 1.7 percentage points from a year ago and 0.6 percentage points from the second quarter," said Vassiljeva. She added that there were 28,800 unemployed women and 26,000 unemployed men in the third quarter, with an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent for women and 6.9 percent for men.
The number of people in employment during the third quarter of 2023 was 693,700. "This was higher than in the third quarter of last year, but the increase was due to the overall population growth, and the employment rate, at 69.1 percent, was still lower than a year earlier, when it was 69.5 percent," Vassiljeva explained.
While in recent years the third quarter employment figures have traditionally been higher than those for the second quarter, this year the number of people in employment in Q3 quarter has fallen slightly from the previous quarter by 1,100. The decline extended to all age groups, with the exception of 65–74-year-olds, among whom 1,000 more people were in employment in the third quarter than in Q2.
"The drop in the number of people employed in the public sector also stands out. In the third quarter of this year, 160,000 people were active in the public sector, which is 4,600 fewer than a year earlier and 16,100 fewer than in the second quarter. The share of people employed in the public sector fell to 22.9 percent of all people in employment," said the analyst.
Looking at the data according to economic sector, when compared to the same time last year, the number of employed persons has increased in the services sector and decreased in industry and construction.
In terms of the country's different regions, Central Estonia is something of an exception, with the number of employed persons also increasing in the industry and construction sector on year. Vassiljeva pointed out that in comparison with the second quarter, the opposite trend has been observed, with a slight increase in industry and construction and a decrease in the number of people employed in the services sector.
"People's interest in working continues to rise, as demonstrated by the fact that, compared to the second quarter, an additional 3,400 previously inactive persons joined the labor force in Q3," Vassiljeva said. She added that the number of inactive people has decreased by 2,000 from a year earlier. Estonia's labor force participation rate was up to 74.5 percent in the third quarter of 2023.
Editor: Michael Cole