In the third quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate remained low, similar to that of economic boom years at 5.2%, while the employment rate exceeded that of boom years at 68.2%, as did the labour force participation rate at 72%. Employment of older persons, meanwhile, hit a record high.
Labour market indicators last quarter did not change significantly compared to the same quarter of 2017. It is notable, however, that activity on the labour market among older persons, ie between the ages of 50-74, remained on the rise, according to a Statistics Estonia press release.
In the 3rd quarter of this year, the employment rate of older persons reached 59.1%, marking a century high. The labour market participation rate of older persons totalled 61.3%, while their unemployment rate was 3.6%. Compared to the third quarter of the previous year, the number of employed persons in the 50-74 age group increased by 4,500, while the number of unemployed persons decreased by 3,000.
Meanwhile, third quarter indicators for the 25-49 age group, which is the most active group in the labour market, did not change significantly; their labour force participation rate remained high at 88.1%.
The labour force participation rate of young people, i.e. 15-24-year-olds, was 46%. Although in recent years this figure has been stable, in the 3rd quarter of this year, the number of employed persons decreased and the number of unemployed persons increased in this age group.
Last quarter, the number of employed persons remained steady on year at 666,600. At the same time, however, the number of employed persons working part time increased considerably. Last quarter saw 588,000 people working full time and 78,600 part time, decreasing and increasing, respectively, by 7,100. Young people and older persons were more likely to work part time; in 2017, one in five persons between the ages of 15-24 and one in seven persons between 50-74 years old worked part time.
More inactive on labour market due to illness, disability
In the third quarter of 2018, the number of inactive persons totalled 273,400, of which those remaining off the labour market due to retirement, studies and illness or disability accounted for the biggest shares at 82,800, 63,300 and 61,200, respectively.
Compared to the third quarter of last year, the number of persons inactive due to illness or disability increased by 4,000. The number of persons inactive due to studies decreased by 3,400, however, which may be due to the reconciliation between work and studying being easier for young people. The number of people inactive due to retirement has decreased by 5,100, which is also illustrated by the increasing activity of those aged 50-74 on the labour market.
The unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force (the sum of employed and unemployed persons). The employment rate is the share of the employed in the working-age population (aged 15-74). The labour force participation rate represents the share of the labour force in the population aged 15-74. Estimates are based on the data of the Labour Force Survey.
Editor: Aili Vahtla