The number of registered unemployed in Estonia increased slightly in March as a result of the work ability reform. At the end of March, 32,431 people, or 5.1 percent of the working-age population, were registered as out of work in Estonia.
Taking into account only those out of work possessing full work capacity, the number of unemployed fell nearly two percent month over month in March, with the number of registered unemployed smaller than in March 2016 as well. Compared to the previous month, the number of those unemployed with limited capacity for work increased nearly 11 percent in March, reported the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF).
The rate of registered unemployment remained highest in Ida-Viru County at 11.2 percent and Valga County at 8.8 percent. In contrast, the lowest rate of joblessness, 3.6 percent, was registered in Harju County. Unskilled workers made up the biggest portion of the registered unemployed who had previously worked, accounting for 23 percent of such persons at the end of the month; skilled workers and craftsmen followed at 19 and service and sales personnel at 17 percent.
The EUIF received 34 percent more job offers in March than in February, but approximately 7 percent fewer than in March 2016. The fund received a total of 5,635 new job offers during the month, 65 percent of which were entered via the EUIF website. At 25 percent, the largest proportion of jobs on offer were for service and sales personnel, with 23 percent of jobs directed at skilled workers and craftsmen and an additional 19 percent of jobs on offer aimed at unskilled workers.
During March, a total of 3,419 people, including 504 people with limited capacity for work, found employment or started a business with the help of the EUIF.
Recipients of unemployment benefits numbered 10,926 in March, accunting for 29 percent of the registered unemployed. The average benefit per calendar month was €428, with a total of approximately €3.9 million disbursed. The basic unemployment allowance of €151 per month was paid to 7,779 persons, 21 percent of the total number of registered jobless.
Layoff benefits were paid to 411 people in March, with the average size of the benefit awarded in March amounting to €1,688 and the sum of benefits paid out totaling €695,000.
Benefits in cases of insolvency of the employer were awarded to 60 people, with the average benefit totaling €3,086 and a total of €192,000 being paid out.
Editor: Aili Vahtla