Data reported recently by Statistics Estonia show that in spite of similar education level of non-Estonians and Estonians, the latter still have many more problems in competing with Estonians on the labour market, writes Postimees.
Statistics Estonia collects annually data about the so-called ethnic population (ie people whose both parents are born in Estonia) and immigrants (whose parents have been born abroad).
According to Siim Krusell, chief analyst of Statistics Estonia, there were 797,800 ethnic Estonians and 226,500 immigrants as of 2012. Of the latter, 91,000 had Estonian citizenship.
Nationals of other countries number 134,700, including 66,100 Russian citizens, and persons with undefined citizenship number 59,100.
“By level of education, there are minimum differences between the two groups although, historically, immigrants are trained for a specific profession. However, the biggest problem for non-Estonians is unemployment was 2012. While among the ethnic population in working age, 62% are employed, the percentage is only 57 among immigrants. This is worrying because in 2009, both were at about 57%,” says Krusell.
One third of Estonian residents with a migrant background aged 15-74 do not speak the official language of the country, the share of non-Estonian-speakers being the largest among citizens of Russia.
Of the immigrant population 33 percent have no knowledge of Estonian whatsoever, 18.7 percent know enough to understand daily discourse, 16.5 percent are able to converse on daily topics, 24.3 percent can speak and write Estonian, and for 7.5 percent Estonian is their mother tongue or the language they speak at home.
According to data of the statistics office there are in Estonia 226,500 residents with a migrant background. Of them 91,700 have Estonian citizenship.