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Ida-Viru County's unemployment rises to 13.4 percent

The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund office in Tartu.
The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund office in Tartu. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

Unemployment in eastern Estonia's Ida-Viru County has risen rapidly since September with an additional 900 more people out of work. Estonia's average unemployment rate is just over 8 percent.

During the first week of January, almost 200 people applied to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) and the region's rate rose to 13.4 percent.

Around 7,500 people are not working in Ida-Viru County, and the fund says the reasons are complex.

"This crisis is special because you cannot predict anything here. First of all, there are no big redundancies. Nor do we see one sector making more people redundant, just a few more people coming to us every day," Anneki Teelahk, head of the fund's Ida-Viru County department, told Tuesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

"I think it has to do with the fact that employers have held on to their people and are holding on probably until the last minute. And now that there's a recession, now that there's a rise in the minimum wage, it means that there's more wage pressure on employers, and they have to think about who they might have to let go to continue."

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Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright

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