Based on the Statistical Office's data, employment increased by 1.7 percent i.e.
10,200 employees in the 4th quarter of last year when compared to the year
before. The employment increase of the 4th quarter in annual comparison
continued in most fields of activity. The unemployment rate decreased to 9.3
percent and there were 15,300 less unemployed people than one year before. The
unemployment rate of the entire European Union increased to 10.7 percent in
As before, the sectors of real estate, information and communication technology, transportation and warehousing, and administration and auxiliary activities show a fast increase of the number of employees. The number of people employed in public administration did not change in the last quarter when compared to the year before. But the processing industry which largely depends on export displayed a decrease of employment rates for the third quarter in a row. This is caused by reduction of orders and production in many sub-branches of industry. Employment also decreased in energy and financial sectors. In the future, employment growth will be more and more limited by the decreasing numbers of people in employment age and the lack of necessary professional skills in people looking for work.
Estonian employment-age population, i.e. the number of people aged 15-74 years
has been decreasing since the year 2007, but thanks to continued increase of
interest to participate in the labour market, the total labour force, i.e. the
combined number of employed and unemployed people has not decreased in the past
ten years. The growth of participation in labour market slowed down last year,
but the employment rate i.e. the share of employed people in the total labour
force continued to grow. This brought the unemployment rate down to 9.3 percent
in the end of the year and to 10.2 percent as the year's average.
For this year, the Ministry of Finances is forecasting a modest employment growth of just 0.5 percent due to labour force resources being limited. With restoration of foreign demand in the second half of the year, the industrial sector may still exceed the current hopes regarding its employment growth.
Public Relations Department
Ministry of Finance of Estonia
Phone +372 611 3035